Conservation and reserve in South Africa has long been exclusive, the Dinokeng Game Reserve is amongst the first inclusive reserves which has humans coexisting with wildlife in South Africa. This set up increases the value and opportunity to understand some of the potential future developments in conservation. The Dinokeng Game Reserve has been an inclusive landscape for approximately 10 years. Although not yet demarcated as a protected area, there are efforts to monitor and develop the ecosystem. Dinokeng Game Reserve is a unique ecosystem that is home to free roaming wildlife within an urban setting. Dinokeng Game Reserve is situated in Gauteng Province with a small section in the Limpopo Province. The reserve is 18,500ha with lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino and elephant. Plains game such as zebra, blue wildebeest and impala are seen in abundance. There are 170 homesteads within the reserve thus making it slightly urbanized within and outside the reserve.
The purpose of the ecological surveys is to contribute towards a broad based monitoring plan for the Dinokeng Game Reserve. This includes habitat assessments, biodiversity surveys, mammal monitoring and soil and water quality.
Some of the aims of the project include the establishing of baseline infomartion about the carrying capacity and distribution and dynamics of herbivores. To assess the predator guilds and behaviours within the reserve and to measure the human-wildlife interface to determine how best to mitigate the interactions.
Short term research outcomes of the predator guilds and population status particularly of the leopards and brown hyena will be used as part of the Panthera research. Research outcomes of the lion behaviours in small reserves will be part of the Lion Management Forum dataset. Ecologcial surveys and game monitoring data will contribute towards the quantifying the carrying capacity of herbivores which will help reserve management. The long term outcomes of human-wildlife interaction solutions, particularly for elephants will support management recommendations for future human-wildlife interactions.Selected Outputs:
Dinokeng Leopard Monitoring Report 2016.pdf