New Ongava Research Centre...

Our new research facility will be opening in April 2019, we’ll update the website soon with more information.

We have left our previous blog online below if you’d like to have a look at some of the amazing camera trap images from the past 3 years.


Ongava Research Centre Blog...


Leopard Tracking
- (Added 12. Mar. 2013 - 11:00)

One month has passed since we deployed a GPS collar on a young female leopard, and we were eager to see how she was using space on the reserve. We have received a number of uploads from the collar during this time, so have been able to generate a full picture of her movements for this first period. Here is a tracking plot, superimposed on a map of Ongava. The yellow lines link all the GPS locations, starting from the blue square at the top of her range – that is one of the waterholes on the reserve (Margo) where she was released. Note that the locations are 6 hours apart, so a straight line between the points does not necessarily mean she walked directly, but it does allow us to build up a picture of how she is using space.

Some very interesting points:

a) She uses almost exclusively the ridges on the range of hills in the north of the reserve – she is very rarely on the plains (understandable when we consider our high lion densities down there!)

b) She has been very close to the main Ongava Lodge (read more below about that…)

c) She has been off the reserve twice in this period, crossing our eastern electric fence.

Already we are seeing behaviours we did not expect – let’s see how our understanding of her movement patterns develops the coming months…


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Camera Trap Image of the Week - 23
- (Added 5. Mar. 2013 - 11:00)

Strange Drinking Partners...

We are always surprised to see our camera traps records images of different species at waterholes at the same time. Here we see a guinea fowl (no surprise there!), a kori bustard Ardeotis kori and a rock monitor Varanus albigularis all seemingly happy to share the same drinking spot….

Similarly, at the same waterhole on a different day, we have a kudu bull (strictly speaking a greater kudu Tragelaphus strepsiceros), a warthog (you can just see him on the left) and a caracal at a waterhole at the same time – 10am in the morning…

 



Camera Trap Image of the Week - 22
- (Added 26. Feb. 2013 - 11:00)

All species of vultures are endangered, mostly due to years of persecution through indiscriminant poisoning. Namibia has an active vulture-tagging programme, with several centres capturing all species of vulture, attaching patagial tags, then releasing them for monitoring. Very occasionally we are able to read the tags on vultures that trigger our traps; we then send that information to the monitoring agencies. Here we see a white-backed vulture Gyps africanus number E238 – this specimen was tagged in Etosha National Park early in 2012. This one has not yet strayed far from its tagging location, but some vultures tagged in Namibia have been recorded as far away as the Western Cape in South Africa.



Camera Trap Image of the Week - 21
- (Added 19. Feb. 2013 - 11:00)

A nice sunset picture taken by our ‘polecam’ located in the middle of one our waterholes – you can see its cross-shaped shadow to the left of the black-backed jackal Canis mesomelas. These jackals do most of their foraging at night, but can be seen drinking in the early evenings.



Leopard Trapped and Collared!
- (Added 17. Feb. 2013 - 11:00)

For those of you who have been following the blog, you’ll remember the fun and games we had late last year in trying to trap a leopard. We had hoped that we would be able to use a baited cage trap to safely trap one of our leopards so that we could fit a GPS collar and then get an idea of the range of movements of that individual. After a number of weeks of trying, including some near misses, we gave up and moved to Plan B. Well, it seems Plan B worked! Read more below…


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