Fixing the Camera Trap | African Wildlife Foundation
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Fixing the Camera Trap

  • 09/23/08
  • Nakedi

It is a struggle to capture leopard pictures at this point. We are heading towards the end of the dry season and somehow animal movements have been altered. I cannot say this with confidence because I am currently sampling the southern part of the concession, which is a rugged terrain and has a limited number of roads. At the same time however, water is the limiting factor for most animals and as a result their movements should be in association with the distribution of water points.

The kudus are hit the worst because there are no leaves for them to browse on, so they are dying. This is further exacerbated by their tendency to panic, which drains them of a lot of energy (I think!). For their sake I hope it rains soon.

The vultures on the other hand are thriving; this is by far their best time of the year.

The burnt camera was fixed and it is now working properly, sort of. The problem was with the burnt screen, which was blocking out the lens. I was sitting with Jared Glasson, one of the guides from Singita Kruger National Park when we started brainstorming about fixing the camera.

Jared used to be an engineer before he decided to become a guide. He is some kind of a brainiac. After throwing ideas around, we decided that the camera’s problem was with the screen. We then decided to remove the screen and replace it with laminating sheets.

[caption id="attachment_159" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Jared fixing the burnt camera trap."]Jared fixing the burnt camera trap.[/caption]

Next I took it to the field to test it against the elements and it came up with a very curious pachyderm wondering what he/she had stumbled across.

[caption id="attachment_160" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="A curious hippo examining the camera."]A curious hippo examining the camera.[/caption]

Next the resilient camera captured a large male leopard, but it will be difficult to identify as the image is kind of blurry.

About the Author

Joining AWF in 2007, Nakedi is the latest addition to AWF's team of species researchers in Africa. Working in the Limpopo region, where he's from, Nakedi's studying the great cats to shape conservation strategies that will benefit communities he's known all his life. Looking at Nakedi's focus areas as a zoologist – Cytogenetics, Molecular Biology, and Geometric Morphometrics – it's easy to see he is serious about conservation. Leopards as a species especially interested him because they are both powerful and elusive – making it a challenge to study and protect them.

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