Haarwegskloof Renosterveld Reserve, our little gem, is giving away more and more of its precious secrets. During the weekend of the Renosterveld Research & Visitor Centre launch in September, the Near Threatened Denham’s Bustard and three pairs of the Vulnerable Black harrier were all found breeding on the reserve. The latter is a very good indication of the condition of the veld, as they only breed in pristine Renosterveld and Fynbos. Soon afterwards, our camera traps spotted not only Large-spotted Genet, Scrub Hare, Grey Duiker, and Porcupine, but also the more elusive and shy Aardwolf and Aardvark. The latter was most unexpected and exciting, as there is so little habitat left and few termites available in the wheat belt.
Earlier this month, Odette Curtis and Jannie Groenewald (our reserve manager), together with Cliff and Suretha Dorse, Keir and Alouise Lynch, and Barry and Rozelle Rose spent their weekend at Haarwegskloof Reserve in a Bioblitz to unravel further biodiversity secrets. The latter six people are all visiting ecologists, who generously donated their spare time to the Trust – thank you guys for making the Bioblitz a total success!
Armed with a range of traps and many experienced field eyes, the group set out to record as many animals and plants as possible. Sherman traps and a trap array, involving pitfall-type traps set in the ground and funnel traps, were used to catch small mammals, scorpions, frogs, small snakes, and other critters. Please don’t worry, all our traps are live traps and the animals caught were safely released back into the field, where they belong.
So far, a staggering 318 plant species, 106 bird species, 34 mammals, 5 frogs, 12 reptiles, and 82 insect families have been identified at the Haarwegskloof Renosterveld Reserve. Some of the more unusual and exciting finds included Rain frog, Namaqua Rock Mouse, and Cape Rock Elephant Shrew – see photo gallery below.
Our next challenge is to make the Renosterveld Research & Visitors Centre work to its full potential and earn some vital income for the OLCT and the reserve. At the moment the centre is able to accommodate students and visiting scientists, but we also want to be in a position to offer it as self-catering guest accommodation to generate an income stream for the reserve and keep Jannie on as the Reserve Manager.
This is where you can help!
We are still looking for the below essential items and any help is gratefully received.
If you can help, please contact us.