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Surveying Africa’s Large Carnivores – Part 2

Wilderness Safaris recently teamed up with the Trans-Kalahari Predator Programme, based out of the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) at the University of Oxford, to provide logistical support for the Okavango Delta Carnivore Survey. This survey is part of the Trans-Kalahari Predator Programme’s efforts to provide baseline data on the numbers of large carnivores in the Okavango Delta, and in other protected areas in Botswana. Wilderness assisted in setting up and checking some of the camera grids put out across the wilds of the Okavango.

Running a camera trap survey not only involves setting up cameras and taking them down, but also regular checks to ensure cameras are still functional, the batteries are still full, and importantly, that cameras have not been pushed over by animals! As a novel addition to their environment, many species passing by take their time to investigate the camera traps; while in the case of impala and lions this can lead to some interesting ‘selfies’, for the larger species such as elephant and hippo, this often means pushing the traps over, which can lead to losing a few days of data while the cameras are down.

Just have a look at how curious some of the animals can get:

Surveying Africa’s Large Carnivores – Part 2 | Taga Safaris

A hippopotamus passing through one of the camera trap stations, ‘posing’ in the middle to sniff one of the traps

Surveying Africa’s Large Carnivores – Part 2 | Taga Safaris

The nose of another impala, giving the camera a good smell!

Surveying Africa’s Large Carnivores – Part 2 | Taga Safaris

Surveying Africa’s Large Carnivores – Part 2 | Taga Safaris

A young lion gets up close and personal

Surveying Africa’s Large Carnivores – Part 2 | Taga Safaris

Can you spot the camera trap amongst this herd of giants? Elephants often push over traps with their feet and bend our poles, which means camera traps need to be checked on a regular basis

Surveying Africa’s Large Carnivores – Part 2 | Taga Safaris

A sub-adult male lion moves in for a closer look

Surveying Africa’s Large Carnivores – Part 2 | Taga Safaris

A curious warthog

Surveying Africa’s Large Carnivores – Part 2 | Taga Safaris

This elephant was not too happy about our camera trap on its path. As many animals use the trails made by elephants through the bush, these are ideal places to put camera trap stations. However, it also means cameras regularly get pushed over.

Surveying Africa’s Large Carnivores – Part 2 | Taga Safaris

Post courtesy of Wilderness Safaris

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2018-11-23T09:55:44+00:00August 4th, 2018|Africa Travel News|
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