Malolotja Research/Ecology Programme
The research and monitoring programme is the cornerstone of the reserve's adaptive management system. Evaluation of information enables managers to determine the effects of management on the reserve environment and adjust management accordingly. Design and implementation of the monitoring programme is the responsibility of the Ecologist in discussion with the Senior Warden and Education Officer. Data collection has primarily been carried out by the SNTC ecologist, but assistance has been provided by the Senior Warden, Wardens and rangers. With the expansion on the monitoring programme to cover all aspects of reserve management, more data will be collected by the Wardens and senior education staff. The Ecologist provides a monitoring design, data analysis and reporting service to management and education staff.
The existing monitoring programme comprises 13 projects namely:
Fire: Measuring the frequency, timing, extent and causes of all fires.
Climate: Daily rainfall, screen temperature and humidity recordings.
Hydrology: Stream flow and sediments loads of streams and rivers.
Soil erosion: Gully erosion, trail bed lowering, fixed point photographs of sheet eroded areas.
Flora: Updating and revising the plant checklist, herbarium maintenance and distribution of rare or endangered species.
Vegetation monitoring: Fixed point photographs to measure changes in woody species density.
Kniphofia umbrina : Survey of natural and translocated populations.
Fauna: Updating and revising checklists of invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.
Large mammal populations: Six monthly census in late April/early May and late October/early November (precise date weather dependent), distribution monitoring from ranger patrol data.
Priority species: Nesting record survey for blue swallow and bald ibis.
Human impact: Collation and analysis of visitor questionnaires, fixed point photographs are taken to monitor backpacking camps and other infrastructure
Questionnaires for each month go to the Senior Warden and then to the Ecologist for preparation of summary data to be included in annual reports. Additional projects may be initiated as management practices change. Additional projects may be initiated at the request of the management section.
Park Management Environmental Education Community Outreach Research
Resources Nature Reserves Tourism
Biodiversity Objectives/Legislation Programmes Miscellaneous