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A few months back we published an article about the installation of camera traps at Summerplace Game Reserve. The first data check has been done and a total of 34 species have been photographed, most were expected but there are a few surprises. Here are the details and the images.

The FBIP Waterberg Biodiversity Project, headed by Professor Nigel Barker from the University of Pretoria and managed by Marelize Greyling of the Waterberg Research Support Centre are responsible for the camera traps installation at Summerplace. It’s part of the mammal survey being undertaken by the Waterberg Biodiversity Project, which is headed up by Professor Mark Keith.

Top: Brown Hyena, Bottom: Black-backed Jackal

All of these humans have an interest in studying and preserving the Waterberg Biosphere of which Summerplace Game Reserve is a part of. The camera traps are robust cameras placed in selected locations to remotely capture images of animals. They operate continually and silently using a motion sensor and infra-red light beam.


“After the first service following about three months of capture we were able to identify 34 species. We were quite surprised by the diversity of species captured at Summerplace, especially the diversity of small predator species. These interesting species include Honey Badger, Rusty Spotted Genet, Serval, Caracal and Water Mongoose,” said Greyling.

“Other interesting, noteworthy species include Aardvark, Jameson’s Red Rock Rabbit, Leopard and Brown Hyena,” added Greyling.

Top left: Civet; Top right: Badger, Bottom left: Aardvark; Bottom right: Rusty Spotted Genet

“I’m not really surprised to find all of those species at Summerplace. But it is certainly nice to get visual, recent confirmation that they are here, especially both species of Genet and the Water Mongoose/Marsh Mongoose. I expect we’ll find a couple more species when the next camera trap images are checked in the future,” said John Mackie, Summerplace Game Reserve Conservation Director.

“What for me is really exciting, is the presence of the White-tailed Mongoose. That was a big surprise for me. The White-tailed Mongoose is generally a Lowveld animal. They do occur on the Waterberg, but I would say that Summerplace is right on the western edge of their distribution range. They’re normally in much lower, hotter areas.

Top left: Bush Pig; Top right: Jameson’s Red Rock Rabbit; Bottom left: White-tailed Mongoose; Bottom right: Serval

All told, though, the camera traps give us important information in images that confirm the signs of a very healthy environment and that’s really what’s most important to us,” added Mackie.

“The cameras will stay on site at Summerplace for a while longer. They are normally on site for 6-8 months and are serviced periodically. Data will now be analysed using a program called Traptagger to verify the findings from the first batch of images. After the six-month deployment, all data will be analysed taking into account management, weather and habitat types,” added Greyling.

Top left: Kudu; Top right: Eland; Bottom left: Bushbuck; Bottom right Tsessebe

VIDEO: Watch the video here.

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