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Camera traps capture 19 native species still living across Cape nature reserves

31 July 2020 5:13 PM
Tags:
Conservation
Animals
Study
research
Cape Town nature reserves
mammals
Andrea Schnetler
urban reserves

A new conservation study used camera traps to record a total of 19 native species across 12 City of Cape Town nature reserves.

Researcher Andrea Schnetler co-authored the study focusing on the factors that impact urban nature reserves.

The study, titled Medium and large mammal conservation in the City of Cape Town: factors influencing species richness in urban nature reserves, was published in the Urban Ecosystems journal earlier this month.

Chacma baboon spotted on camera traps. Image: City of Cape Town/Andrea Schnetler

Schnetler, an intern at the City of Cape Town, placed camera traps at 151 different locations across the City's nature reserves for her research footage between May 2017 and February 2019.

The remote-sensing camera traps were used to record these mammals with minimal disturbance.

The cameras captured various animals at the following reserves:

  • Bracken;
  • Zandvlei;
  • Wolfgat;
  • Table Bay;
  • False Bay;
  • Blaauwberg;
  • Tygerberg;
  • Steenbras;
  • Helderberg;
  • Witzands;
  • and the Kenilworth and Uitkamp conservation areas.

These are some of the species recorded:

  • four different antelope species (including the Cape gyrsbok);
  • small grey mongoose;
  • large grey mongoose;
  • water mongoose;
  • Cape hare;
  • scrub hare;
  • Hewitt's red rock hare;
  • two genet species;
  • striped polecat;
  • honey badger;
  • Cape clawless otter;
  • Cape fox;
  • caracal;
  • leopard;
  • chacma baboon;
  • and porcupine.

RELATED: Cape Town's killer cats prey on 27 million local animals every year, study finds

Cape grysbok spotted on camera traps. Image: City of Cape Town/Andrea Schnetler

Schnetler, who recently completed her Masters in Conservation, chats to CapeTalk host John Maytham about her study.

She says her study identified almost 50% of the mammals believed to have been present in the nature reserves historically.

Schnetler says while some sightings were unexpected, some species were missing from the footage. She believes the absence of certain animals in the urban reserves could be a cause for concern in the future.

Most of what we thought was in each reserve was still there... in some reserves, we found a bit more than we expected and some we found a little bit less.

Andrea Schnetler, Conservationist and Intern - City of Cape Town

There was some species [that we didn't find] that we could potentially need to worry about. I didn't find the bat-eared fox, grey rhebok which we would've expected in some reserves. Things like the yellow mongoose, aardvark, aardwolf or African striped weasel for some reason weren't recorded either.

Andrea Schnetler, Conservationist and Intern - City of Cape Town

The study shows our bugger reserves have the species richness and the number of species that we want to see.

Andrea Schnetler, Conservationist and Intern - City of Cape Town

We know that things like elephant and hyena have all been hunted out.

Andrea Schnetler, Conservationist and Intern - City of Cape Town

Listen to the discussion on Afternoon Drive with John Maytham:

Image sourced from The City of Cape Town website.


31 July 2020 5:13 PM
Tags:
Conservation
Animals
Study
research
Cape Town nature reserves
mammals
Andrea Schnetler
urban reserves

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