Ongava Research Centre Blog...

2014 - Week 15
- (Added 13. Apr. 2014 - 11:00)

“I’ll just drop you off here for a drink then…”

2014 - Week 14
- (Added 6. Apr. 2014 - 11:00)

 It's a tough life for lions on Ongava...




(Image sequence by Stuart Crawford of Ongava Game Reserve, Canon D50)

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2014 - Week 13
- (Added 30. Mar. 2014 - 11:00)

Now here is something we have never seen on our camera traps. This is a very young (only a few months old) white rhino calf sitting on its haunches, alone, next to a waterhole. The black mark on the nose is just the damp from putting its nose in the water – it almost certainly was not drinking, just experimenting. The novelty in the image is that there is no sign of the mother. Luckily she is just on the other side of the waterhole; otherwise we’d have had an orphan on our hands…

2014 - Week 12
- (Added 23. Mar. 2014 - 11:00)

We go to a lot of trouble to try to make our camera trap installations secure and unobtrusive. Not least that they are very expensive pieces of equipment, but also so that the animals do not see them as invasive to their environment. We wanted get close-up pictures at a particular waterhole, however there were no convenient nearby trees. We therefore decided that we would place some cameras inside a drum. This drum would be camouflaged and then positioned close to the waterhole. We also placed a camera in a nearby tree to see how the animals would react to the drum. We set the traps and went back home. The next day we came back to find the drum on it’s side. Luckily no damage to the cameras. Looking through the images on the tree camera, we found the the culprit. A female black rhino. This one happens to be called ‘Abigail’, after our rhino genetics researcher….

2014 - Week 11
- (Added 16. Mar. 2014 - 23:59)

Here we see the giant dewlap of a male Eland Taurotragus oryx who has conveniently taken shade under the tree where our trap is positioned. We were intrigued to see the outline of the underlying vascular structures so clearly. Dewlaps are simply folds of skin, and are not thought to have any physiological role. However, in Eland, since they are more prominent in males, they may well form part of his sexual signaling repertoire, as do his horns and his skin colour. Big horns, big dewlap and dark colour (almost blue) are indicators of genetic fitness, and hence attractive to female Eland.

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