Last Friday Team 5 set up a new box trap at the south fence. Last year’s volunteers reading this diary might know its location on the ridge on the fence south of JM House where we set the camera trap. I don’t think I’ve shared the attached camera trap picture yet. While it’s not the target species of this project, it is an awfully cute picture.
With the help of IZW scientists, Team 5 also set up a new box trap in the mountain area of Okambara this past week. We’ve stepped up our trapping efforts as you can tell and have borrowed two traps from the IZW in order to catch as many leopards as possible. There are still several females we are targeting to get collared, and we wouldn’t mind re-capturing the leopards we caught last year in order to refresh their collars.
So Team 5 now is lucky enough to have a total of six traps check. Traps are far enough apart that we’re spending considerable time driving all over Okambara both mornings and evenings, and sometimes we split up the box trap duties and combine them with other activities in order to make sure we’re operating at maximum efficiency.
Team 5 has been super helpful not just on science-related tasks and I have to commend them for their fantastic “dig in and do it” attitudes. For example; three nights ago Emil the male rhino came along and thought the fence surrounding our lapa was a pretty good place to get a good scratch. Unfortunately, the fence toppled inwards and left a lovely hole for every animal coming to the waterhole to crawl through, so Bruce, Ashley, John, Paul and Mark put their heads together, put their backs into it and got it fixed. Bruce, Ashley, John and Paul then went out with Ligeus to gather firewood too.