After a fantastic and restful festive season, the Watercourse Restoration Project has charged into 2016 and is on the go once again. Thankfully, while the rest of us have been hiding from the heat and enjoying time with family, the army of camera traps have been quietly collecting data along the river systems in the Overberg.
One of my selfish goals with the camera trap baseline project has been to capture an image of Cape Clawless Otter, which is listed by the IUCN as Near Threatened. Although the species has a large distribution, they are limited to areas of permanent freshwater with an abundant prey base. In much of their range the species is now faced with habitat loss or habitat degradation and polluted waters. So, to capture images that indicate a viable population within a watercourse system, is a fantastic indication of the health of the ecosystem. We have previously captured images of a group of four otter in the Sout River close to the De Hoop Nature Reserve boundary and there was hope that we would have new images waiting for us when we replaced batteries and downloaded SD cards. What a fantastic surprise when I sorted through the images and saw that not only did we capture a beauty of an image, but checking the date, realised it was a belated Christmas present as well!!!
We also have images during the period of Grey Rhebuck, Cape Grysbok, Bushbuck, Common Duiker, Large-spotted Genet, Honey Badger and even added to our bird list with White Stork, Giant Kingfisher and Black-crowned Night-heron photographed as well.