Three of South Africa’s nine vulture species, including the once-prolific White-backed vulture, have declined to such an extent that they are regarded as Critically Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Tswalu Kalahari’s Cape cobras
I came to Tswalu almost two years ago to research the thermal ecology of Cape cobras using radio telemetry. The study falls under the Kalahari Endangered Ecosystem Project (KEEP), which looks at the responses of Kalahari organisms to climate change.
Boomslang – predator and prey
The boomslang (meaning ‘tree snake’ in Afrikaans) is regularly sighted at Tswalu, winding its way through the massive nests of sociable weavers. These magnificent structures consist of various chambers, occupied by mating pairs and their chicks, and are usually built around sturdy acacia trees. The snakes move from chamber to chamber, looking for food, then wedge their bodies into the chamber hole when they find the chicks or eggs they’re after.
Raising cheetah cubs
Recently at Tswalu Kalahari, a cheetah gave birth to five cubs. Unfortunately, only a few of these little cubs have a chance of reaching adulthood and independence.
Tswalu declared South Africa’s first Vulture Safe Zone
On 7 September 2019, International Vulture Awareness Day, BirdLife South Africa declared Tswalu Kalahari Game Reserve as South Africa’s first Vulture Safe Zone.
Exploring the fascinating world of camouflage in nature
The classic idea of camouflage is a unique, cryptic colour-pattern combination of an organism that enables it to blend into its environment to escape detection.