Ingwelala - Reserve Affairs

By: Ingwelala  11-11-2011

John Llewellyn
15/10/2011

Please note: The full Reserve Report is available on the Downloads page.

General

  1. Ingwelala falls within a malaria area, so please consult your family GP for the necessary measures to be taken.
  2. It is a high risk time of the year for unplanned fires. Should be visiting the Reserve please monitor all cooking fires and extinguish after use. Please do not discard ash into the surrounding veld.
  3.  John and Natalie Llewellyn will be away on annual leave in October 2011. Pieter and Annemie Nel will be managing the Reserve and can be contacted directly for any queries.
  4.  Kindly be reminded that the 2011 AGM is scheduled for 17 November 2011, registration from 18h30 for a 19h00 start at The Country Club Johannesburg, Woodmead.

Staff Movement

Nil

Roads, tracks and airstrip

  • A gabion was constructed on Eastern River Road on Bufflesbed to control erosi
  • Weekly inspections of the airstrip continue to be undertaken and are recorded in the inspection register.
  • on.

Fencing

  • X1 breach by a single elephant during the reporting period

Fire Breaks

The Conservation Manager proposes burning the veld on Sibon and parts of Goedehoop this season, an estimated 370 hectares in total.

I include a communication on the aspects of veld burning, published previously in a Reserve Report:

Fire as a conservation management tool

The practice of veld burning is undertaken by Conservationists country wide. Veld is the single most important asset in any conservation area.

The veld evaluation or assessment typically identifies the suitability of fire as a management tool to benefit a particular area. The benefits of burning are basically four fold. 1. We use fire to maintain a representative sample of biodiversity. Through this fire basically helps us to maintain a balance between open grass areas and woody thickets. This allows for increased biodiversity because the mixture of grassland and woody areas allows for heterogeneity in your landscape as opposed to a homogenous environment where there is either plain grassland or woody climax vegetation. Therefore, in a mixed landscape you can expect to see more species diversity of fauna and flora as opposed to a single landscape.2. The heat intensity of a veld fire can be manipulated. The ambient conditions which include temperature, moisture and wind speed. For example, hot fires are achieved by burning in warm temperature conditions through the mid-day with warm winds blowing. Under these conditions the objective of the burn is to raise the intensity of the fire and impact on the woody encroachers that are threatening the biodiversity described in paragraph 1. The effects are adequate over a period of time with regular burning and will achieve the objective of retarding woody encroachers. It is also more cost effective than manual clearing and subsequent follow up foliar sprays on plant coppice. 3. Fire causes a natural cycling of nutrients. Old moribund grasses have nutrients that need to be recycled into the soils. Fire does this and creates new growth vigour. With good rains this growth contributes towards the next fuel load required for subsequent burning, perhaps after two or three seasons of growth. 4. Herbivores will naturally congregate on newly burned areas that are flushing as the veld is more palatable to them in these areas. In this way management can manipulate game movement and veld utilization. Areas of over utilization can be rested.The nutritional value in the veld flushing after a burn is significant to all herbivores, not just the grasses but also the browse components. To many of the seasonal breeders and those species such as zebra and kudu who have a foaling and calving peak in summer, the nutrition assists in the quality of lactation available to the new recruitment. Good grazing and browse assists herbivores in building up fat reserves during summer, necessary to see them through their diet shortfalls at the end of winter. The lack of good nutrient food availability at the end of winter is often referred to as a “bottleneck” where inter species competition increases for limited food resources. It is at these times that herbivores loose condition. A late cold spell coupled with frontal rains can lead to high mortalities.

The absence of substantial fuel loads and relatively low growth vigour is indicative of the absence of regular planned burns. This is easily reversed through meticulous pre burn planning, careful execution of burning and post burn monitoring. It is a worthy challenge that our veld and wildlife will appreciate.

Security

  • No incidents during the reporting period.

  • The tracking dogs are away at boarding school receiving advanced field training.

  • The Board has offered the Umbabat short term use of the closed contractor accommodation to accommodate the Ntomeni Rangers. This establishment will increase from x4 to x10 Field Rangers with effect from 01 November 2011 in order to patrol all properties in the Umbabat, an excellent and necessary initiative in light of all the rhino poaching.

Road Kill

X 2 Hornbills
X 1 Francolins
X 2 Snakes

Water reticulation

Yield data for the boreholes is reflected in the following table, comparative with previous months:

BOREHOLEJan
2011
Feb
2011
Mar
2011
Apr
2011
May
2011
Jun
2011
July 2011 Aug
2011
Sept
2011
Oct
2010
Nov
2010
Dec
2010
BH NO 1               338 337      
BH NO 2 340 415 968 657 107 809 541 331 393 818 291 518
BH NO 4 922 455 624 832 747 612 750 661 485 513 394 562
BH NO 5 311 253 335 389 344 411 801 589 202 333 251 91
BH NO 6 679 604 736 748 773 442 371 375 320 515 629 589
BH NO 7 760 672 542 414 160 207 855 954 638 753 527 289
BH NO 9 Solar Solar Solar Solar Solar Solar Solar Solar Solar Solar Solar Solar
J.B 158 207 46 916 51 0 239 0 474 245 186 184
GOODEHOOP 690 890 1067 454 440 727 220 188 253 501 656 869
 
COMMENTS:
1. The volume is expressed in cubic metres per month.
2. *Faulty gauge (when applicable).
3. Diesel motors at boreholes #4 and #5 exchanged, x3 Lister motors sent in for repairs
4. Jackal berry pump on Sibon is repaired and operational.

Eskom Usage

The following graph shows the monthly Eskom Usage (Kwh) for Ingwelala. A new meter was installed during January 2010 so no reading is available.

 

Vehicles and Workshop

  • The general fleet and static plant maintenance is 100% compliant with the servicing schedule.
  • Ford Tractor (T2) to undergo a complete refurbishment, pending a final decision from Technical Portfolio.
  • Dyna 4-ton truck engine overhaul is complete and ready for collection in Nelspruit
GATE STATISTICSJan
2011
Feb
2011
Mar
2011
Apr
2011
May
2011
Jun
2011
Jul
2011
Aug
20110
Sept
2011
Oct
2010
Nov
2010
Dec
2010
VEHICLES 145 140 186 382 128 269 236 293 194 203 146 345
MEMBERS/GUESTS 403 425 524 1161 369810750 939 555 605 415 1047
UNACCOMP. GUESTS 14 24 10 47 30 26 23 15 22 18 11 30
UNITS OCCUPIED 144 95 123 192 124 143 145 165 113 120 95 184
AIRBORNE VISITORS 07 15 12 4 17 17 1920 5 2 4


Other products and services from Ingwelala

11-11-2011

Ingwelala - Knob Thorn

Knob thorns are plentiful in the Lowveld, their yellow flowers drawing a distinctive contrast to the dull grey appearance of the bush veld at the end of autumn. Its thorns are characteristic in that they are knobbed at the base, hence the name Knob thorn, the knobby thorns occur on the branches and stems of the trees.


11-11-2011

Ingwelala - Steenbok

However, if this observation is in fact a true reflection of a positive increase in population numbers, my guess is that because Steenbok numbers are self regulated, meaning they are not herd animals and can survive as solitary individuals, their numbers may have increased in response to positive nutritional influences.


11-11-2011

Ingwelala - Services

These include:- pre-arrival gas lighting- bungalow cleaning- checking of garaged vehicles- gas bottle refills- booking of bomas and the Platform- Sibon and guest cottage reservations - laundry- maintenance and workshop job cards. Gate Entrance Levy: members, their guests and unaccompanied guests - per personNB: Levy is charged only once per month per person.