Our Student Program: Zangarna Ecological Research
The manager of the farm is responsible of the good balance between vegetation and animal population: It is called the carrying capacity. First, you will help them regularly list and count all animals and birds. Then you will determine if the soil is rich enough to support all this wildlife. That means removing alien plants and controlling erosion. Protecting the animals against parasites will ensure the renewal of your game population.
Ecological Research includes:
On a weekly basis, you will enjoy a fabulous game drive around the whole farm in order to count the animals along a set route. During this drive, the various animals’ location, age demographics and sex ratio is recorded.
During your voluntary work, you will contribute to a citizen science programme by recording bird species. You will record and build up a bird species list of the area and send the data to a South-African University.
Many small mammals and carnivores are nocturnal and very secretive. To observe them, infra-red cameras are place throughout the property. Then the videos are stored and analysed.
Alien plant control
Alien plants are invasive and have no nutritive value for our animals. To keep the property as natural as possible we strive to eradicate all alien plants that take over natural grass. With the other volunteers, you will control the different plant species and remove the invasive ones either manually or using chemical treatments.
Parasites are natural but can be dangerous. You will create and maintain trapped troughs to fight against ticks, the most problematic parasite. Animals necks will dip into tick poison as they feed into the device.
Fortunately, Zangarna game farm is a healthy property that does not suffer too much of erosion. To maintain the good composition of the soil, you will regularly make sure that water doesn’t overflow and good grass keeps growing to nurture the ground.
Veld Condition Assessments (VCA)
At the end of the rainy season (February and March), you can get the opportunity to draw up an inventory of the various grass species existing in the farm.