Erindi Private Game Reserve is home to many successful conservation projects. The aim of our Conservation Fund is to raise money in support of these projects, in order to maintain the safety and longevity of all fauna and flora species on the reserve.
The conservation fund is used to cover the costs of the following:
Equipment for monitoring and counting methods
- VHF collars
- Special VHF tracking devices
- GPS collars
- Camera-trap surveys
- Animal-track surveys
- Annual aerial census
- Capture/recapture and tagging
- DNA analysis
General management of the reserve
- Supplementary feed when there is a drought
- Maintenance of the reserve fences, bomas, roads etc
- Veterinary services
Monitoring and counting methods
To ensure that the Erindi wildlife teams maintain immaculate records of all animal species, and especially those that have been introduced, the animals must be regularly located and viewed. Their condition is noted, signs of illness can be acted on immediately, and data on new youngsters and the survival of individuals is recorded to ensure successful management. The Erindi wildlife team has adopted various location and recording methods, and combinations of these methods are used to ensure that data is accurate and gathered regularly.
Methods of Capture
Animals often have to be captured on Erindi for various purposes. If an animal moves out of the reserve boundaries, it must be located, captured and returned to the safety of the reserve. Animals are captured to change their tracking devices from time to time, and to gather vital samples to ensure that they’re disease free. New genes in the form of new animals are introduced regularly, while some male animals that represent old, well dispersed genetics are removed. And when large numbers of a certain species need to be removed from a population to keep it healthy, capture and auction is the preferred method, rather than culling.
- Mass capture
- Cage traps
- Immobilisation through free darting
Because so much of Erindi’s focus is on conservation, game capture is a large part of the park’s operations. Wild animals are captured elsewhere for introduction to the reserve (such as spotted hyena, lion and cheetah); a wide variety of general game species must be transported safely off the reserve following the annual game auction; and internal game capture is an ongoing operation, done to move animals around within the reserve (for research and management purposes), for veterinary reasons such as inoculation, and to fit tracking collars.
The personnel, expertise, and equipment required for any game capture is immense – and only a precious few of Erindi’s game captures are ever small or straightforward. World-renowned vet, Dr. Douw Grobler, oversees most of these projects, backed up by a team of extremely skilled local vets, ecologists and researchers. A further team of handlers, pilots, spotters, specialised drivers, machinery operators and mechanics are involved to pilot and manage the fleet of aircraft, trucks, bakkies, tractors, trailers, cranes, crates and containers of all kinds – each custom-designed and built for a specific purpose and species.