It’s a crazy time the world over just now, and the most important thing is that we do our best to stay safe, healthy and support front liners without adding more strain. As with many parts of the world, South Africa has also implemented a full lockdown. An initial 21 days was concluded on Thursday and we are now into a (for now) two week extension.
Consequently, we haven’t left the farm and have stayed on the property to carry on with what work we can. We have been able to service some camera traps on the property – Chloe’s livestock cameras as well as baobab cameras assessing primate sleeping sites and patterns. Meanwhile we have been continuing data entry and analysis on other projects and datasets. Our camera traps are obviously triggered by all species and so collect a significant amount of data that provides potential for a wealth of other research questions and projects. I have started to look at the population data for aardwolf, aardvark, large spotted genet and small spotted genet, while work on the primate populations is also underway. Frank and Nadine have continued preliminary small mammal research location site assessments, as well as their carnivore tracking with their dogs.
This quieter time also gives us opportunity to take stock of what we have achieved as well as consider what we want to achieve going forwards and also test some new research ideas and optimise some methods.
The majority of our students and volunteers returned home almost four weeks ago now and so it has been a bit quieter here lately, but I think we have been lucky to have such a large area to still be able to walk around in, and while there are no workers on the farm there has also been opportunity to help with the goats, which I have obviously loved! We will hopefully be able to provide you some enjoyable updates and perhaps you can even join us remotely for some fieldwork!