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A very rare sighting a month or so ago at Musekese Camp, Kafue National Park. How many folk have seen or heard of a Melanistic Genet before? What strikes me about this sighting is that most of what we know or understand about the prevalence of melanism is from relatively closed populations of wildlife (think Aberdares or Mt. Kenya). Smaller populations with little to no migration to maintain genetic diversity in theory means that rarer genes, expressing things like melanism are proportionally more likely to be expressed in small populations, especially if there is a selection pressure on them (i.e. being black is favourable in dark forests, etc.) The Kafue NP is arguably the largest unfenced and 'open' wildlife area and as such the population of genet as an example is very unlikely to be a 'closed' population, in fact it is arguably going to be the complete opposite of what we understand are the ideal scenarios for melanism to be expressed? Anyway, just my thoughts!
Game Warden posted a topic in Safari talkFurther to the previous post from www.wildlifeact.com, Christie has sent me more images of the same cheeky genet riding atop a rhino at night... Questions answered: Dr Simon Morgan (Wildlife ACT) Is it the same genet that was seen at the back of a Buffalo earlier this week? SM: It seems to be the same genet, although we have not been able to verify that yet. Is this a coincidence? SM: It is probably the same genet. The photos were taken at the same camera trap site. We are looking to put a remote video camera trap there to see if we can record this behaviour more accurately. Does this kind of behavior occur often in Game Reserves? SM: As far as we are aware this is the first recorded behaviour like this. We would love to know if anyone else has recorded something similar and the circumstances surrounding it. To read more on this sighting, visit the Wildlife ACT page here. And if you are on Facebook, follow Wildlife ACT on their page here.
Christie Morgan from www.wildlifeact.com sent me details of an interesting sighting one of their cam traps had picked up at Hluhluwe - this cheeky genet hitching a nocturnal ride on the back of a buffalo... it's certainly an interesting mobile lookout point. To see the full series of images and read more about the sighting, click here. Camera trap info: Wildlife ACT uses camera traps as a non-invasive form of wildlife monitoring on a few of the Zululand Game Reserves where we are stationed. The camera traps are placed strategically and usually in hard to navigate areas. They are triggered by movement and use a flash at night that doesn’t irritate the animals as is evident in this series of images. These camera traps are perfect for monitoring generally shy or nocturnal animals or priority species such as rhino, cheetah and leopard. By studying the photographs collected we are able to identify individual animals and plot their territories. This is critical to our ongoing research and makes it easier to monitor them in the future. What is Wildlife ACT? Wildlife ACT info: Wildlife ACT is a one-of-a-kind wildlife-monitoring organisation that focuses on the following key conservation elements: Delivering time and expertise to provide adequate management, capture, transport for the reintroduction of endangered and threatened species to new areas (focus on African Wild Dog, Cheetah, Black Rhino & Vultures). Finding and funding the right equipment needed to effectively monitor endangered and threatened species. Training field rangers to effectively monitor endangered and threatened species, by using the right approaches and technologies to minimise disturbance. Establishing and running sustainable, focussed wildlife monitoring projects. Wildlife ACT allows volunteers to join their team in the field. To find out more about volunteering with Wildlife ACT email, firstname.lastname@example.org. Perhaps some of Safaritalk's South African based members can get involved.
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