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Wildlife & Ecosystems

Walking with African Wildlife

Even in a world-class protected area, wildlife needs our support. How are giraffes, elephants, and others faring?


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The facts

Why the research is important

Why the research is important

You’ll help preserve the diversity of animal species in one of Africa's oldest wildlife reserves.

Earthwatch volunteers are critical to the important work of counting wildlife and managing their habitat.

Long-term monitoring of large herbivores is vitally important in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, as it is relatively small and surrounded by a game-proof fence. As a result, large herbivores are unable to move out of the park during drought conditions or when faced with high predation risk or other events. We, therefore, need to monitor trends in the large herbivore population as well as in predator species in order to see if and when management intervention is necessary. Although most processes and animals are left to regulate themselves, when scientists and managers feel that certain animals can be removed to supplement or to seed other populations, this is done. When species with a high conservation value begin to decline, then management action is also needed to halt the decline.

White Rhinoceros, South Africa

Join an ongoing survey of the 15 largest herbivores in the park.

The goal of this Earthwatch project is to provide the most accurate count possible of all the most common large mammal species in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park. Every two years the Walking with African Wildlife project conducts a census of large herbivore species in the park, which may include buffalo, bushbuck, bushpig, blue duiker, gray duiker, red duiker, giraffe, impala, zebra, kudu, nyala, common reedbuck, mountain reedbuck, black rhino, white rhino, steenbok, warthog, waterbuck, and wildebeest.

About the research area

Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, South Africa, Africa

Daily life in the field

Itinerary

This is a summary:

The Scientists

MEET THE LEAD SCIENTIST

David
Druce
Park Ecologist for Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife

ABOUT David Druce

Dr. Dave Druce has experience in many conservation areas throughout South Africa and on a wide variety of topics including predator/prey interactions, herbivore habitat selection, elephant utilization, and invertebrate surveying.

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Accommodations and Food

Accommodations and Food

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