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Tswalu Foundation Research Stories


Researchers from Dedeben, led by Dr Wendy Panaino, tagged a pangolin pup for the first time in 2021 to find out what would happen when it left its natal home range.


If plants and animals can find small areas in their environment that provide shelter from harsh radiation, there is hope that they may cope when climate is not in their favour.

Ground pangolin’s diet and climate change

How does one go about studying the food preferences of one of the world’s most shy and elusive mammals? In a recent article researcher, Dr Wendy Panaino addressed the puzzle of what pangolins eat by collecting pangolin scats.

In conversation with Valery Phakoago

PhD candidate Valery Phakoago is studying population densities, habitat preference, diet and activity patterns of aardvarks and Temminck’s ground pangolins at Tswalu Kalahari, a project which falls under the KEEP climate-change programme.

In conversation with Wendy Panaino

PhD candidate Wendy Panaino is Tswalu’s resident ground pangolin expert and project manager for the Kalahari Endangered Ecosystem Project (KEEP), which aims to understand the responses of multiple Kalahari organisms to climate change.

Boscia trees and butterflies

Current research has confirmed that Tswalu Kalahari is distinctly a source area for the butterfly migration, thanks to the large number of Boscia albitrunca trees on both sides of the Korannaberg mountains.

In conversation with Marcus Westberg

Marcus Westberg, a renowned photojournalist with a passion for storytelling, recently spent several weeks at Tswalu documenting his day-to-day experiences.

Secret pollinators of Nerine laticoma

Since Nerine species generally tend to have only one or two pollinators, the glorious proliferation of pollinators of this particular species is fascinating and has led to more questions.

Unearthing the Kalahari’s long human history

Until recently there had been little systematic archaeological research within the expansive, protected area of Tswalu. However, there is clear evidence of human activity extending back in time to at least 500,000 years ago.