Vumbura Plains

Surveying Africa’s Large Carnivores – Part 2



Kai Collins


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:

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