As you know I am briefly back from a few months of fieldwork in the stunning but wild Gonarezhou National Park.
We were doing the annual carnivore spoor survey as well as looking for wild dog tracks that might lead us to finding a pack, or better yet a den site. Some of the roads were a little tricky to navigate… but we got through in the end:
We found ourselves in some beautiful places along the way – this is one of my favorite views in the park. It also made a good lunch spot and a great place to track from!
We were fortunate enough to see quite a lot of wildlife in the park, including many, many elephant herds, zebras, giraffes, eland, jackals, ostrich, buffalo, impala, wildebeest, one leopard and three porcupines! And of course an abundance of incredible bird life.
I love porcupines, so it was a real treat to see them in the day;
We didn’t pick up as many lion tracks as we would have hoped, although we did hear them on a couple of nights, and it seems their population may not be picking up as much as we thought. Hyenas we heard every night – that’s one species that certainly seems to be doing well in the park! Especially from this campsite, where they were all around us from evening until morning.
And of course the wild dogs… we still have a way to go to fully understand what the park’s population is, but signs are encouraging. We found tracks throughout the area we were working in, and plenty of signs of successfully breeding packs. Hopefully over the next few months we will be able to establish whether these dogs are in fact linked with the population in Kruger National Park as well.