We have an ongoing camera trap programme to maintain our species count, which also allows us to keep track of the nocturnal animals – which are considered rare game – on our conservancy.
The camera trap surveys allow us to monitor the animals without influencing their daily life, so that they have as little human interaction as possible.
The camera trap surveys have always proven to be a great success and provided a great opportunity to see animals such as aardvark which we would not necessarily see on a drive.
Ukuwela has multiple pitfall taps located in different vegetation types to see what invertebrates we have on the property, some that we may not even know live there or haven’t been discovered yet!
The Pitfall traps is a survey that runs every day and can be very interesting to see what you can discover and identify. You never know what you might find.
Got to look after the small things too!
One of our newest projects we have running is our small mammal survey. We set six mammal traps out in one location for a set period, some to catch herbivores and some to catch small predators. After the set time is over the traps are relocated to the next vegetation area.
This is a very interesting programme, as you never know what you might find each day. Could even be something no one knew was on the conservancy!
The Clinic – Rehabilitate
The Clinic is located at base camp. Each day the team will be divided into two groups: Project workers and Clinic Workers. This will alternate daily.
The clinic is where the small animals in our care that need rehabilitating stay until they are old enough or well enough to go into a pre-release enclosure.
The team in the clinic are just as essential as the team in the field!
The pre-release enclosures have been built by interns before you as project work. There are multiple enclosures on site, each built to suit a different range of animals. These have all proven to be very successful and have opened a telemetry tracking project for our animals that have been released.
As Volunteers, you will often get opportunities to go into the communities and local schools, where you can teach children as young as 3 or 4 years old. This is a fantastic experience and a great way to teach them about anti-poaching and why we should all be working together to save our wildlife.
You will also get the chance to visit other reserves and see how they maintain their conservancies. You might even run into an animal or two that you do not normally get to experience.
Ukuwela has its own team of anti-poaching staff, but this does not mean you are not involved! You are shown and taught how to check for snares, maintain the land and identify and remove invasive plants.