For the past twenty nine years, management policy has been to utilize all the reserve’s natural resources on a sustainable basis and to maintain and, if possible, increase the wide diversity of fauna and flora which occur naturally. In order to achieve these objectives, some of the volunteer activities have been directed to support the management on the reserve. Below are the four categories that the management activities have been divided into that volunteers take part in:
Mammal Population Management
The mammal populations, especially herbivores, and to a lesser extent carnivore, must be maintained at levels which ensure that available food, water and land resources are not over utilized. This is achieved by;
Population monitoring on foot and in vehicles;
Population reduction mainly through live capture;
Age and sex surveys on foot and in vehicle;
Annual helicopter game count;
Provision of water supplies.
Very simply this entails the protection of the soils and vegetation to ensure that they are not degraded or eroded and that they will continue to provide sufficient food and shelter for all the diverse forms of life in the Reserve. Activities associated with this are;
Veld monitoring / Vegetation surveys;
Prevention of bush encroachment;
Removal of alien vegetation.
All infrastructure, equipment and machinery require regular maintenance to ensure that the objectives of the Reserve are achieved. This includes the protection of the Reserve and its wildlife from external pressures. The main tasks include the maintenance of:
Vehicle and equipment;
Repair of flood damage.
Volunteers receive training which will enable them to undertake any practical and research tasks allotted to them. Instruction will also be given in bush skills, tracking and medicinal uses of plants. Some of these workshops therefore include these skills and many others, and can be selected to be included in your programme from the following list:
Map Reading and Compass Skills;
Making a Fire;
Vehicle Maintenance and changing tyres;
Shooting and Firearm Safety;
First Aid – Bush First Aid;
Identification of Snakes and Spiders;
Rhino Notching Identification Training.