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Game capture

Every year a new summer season brings new babies. With new babies comes an increase in numbers that increases the impact on the natural vegetation. The increased impact on the vegetation results in re-calculated veld biomass and nutritional value determinations for each game species. This determination together with that of GDARD is included in the decision on numbers and species to be removed.

Why we do game captures?

  • Stocking rate is the number of animals one can have on a selected property. The stocking rate is determined by the carrying capacity of the selected area. Carrying capacity is the number of animals the natural vegetation can sustain without any additional supplementary feeding. This is calculated on a scientific method after surveys are done in the selected area.
  • The law for the conservation of species is controlled by GDARD (Gauteng Department of Agricultural and Rural Development). They are in control of monitoring veld conditions, stocking rate, and species in a specific area. By law, we are required to stay within the recommended number of the game as stated by them. They also control granting of permits to capture or transport game.
  • By removing the game, a new genetic variety can be brought in. This will reduce the impact of inbreeding that may cause health issues resulting in animals having to be euthanized due to genetic deformations and growth deformations. By constantly renewing some animal numbers with new genes, this will be highly unlikely.
  • To bring in new genetic pools, we need to remove certain numbers of game. This falls in place with permits granted by GDARD. If the number of game is less than they require, no import permit is granted for new game to be brought in. This increases our risk of inbreeding as mentioned above.

Game capture report 27 and 28 May 2021

Pilanesberg game capturers performed the game capturing. Game capturing started on the 27th of May 2021 and was completed on the 28th of May 2021. Capturing happened using a boma and helicopter (mass capturing), and helicopter with the use of a net gun and/ or darting. Vegetation on the koppies was still very dense, with most of the trees still having 60-80% foliage. This made the location of certain species challenging.

A total of 96 animals were captured and removed. The numbers and sex per species of removed animals are seen in table 1.

Table 1: Game capture removals