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PROGRAMMES: Mlawula Research

The reserve research programme has included monitoring of climate, soil erosion, water quality, distribution of water within the Siphiso Valley, vegetation, impact of larger herbivores, animal numbers, and, to a limited extent, visitor usage of the reserve.

A population census for larger herbivores is carried out twice a year, by means of road transects. There are a number of problems with the method, due to the terrain, the response of the animals to vehicles, and as a result of uneven distribution of the herbivores within the sampled areas. These counts therefore only serve as a rough guide for management purposes.

Research activities carried out have included the installation of an exclusion plot to monitor the recovery of vegetation when protected from grazing.

Monitoring of vegetation and impact of larger herbivores has been carried out by means of fixed point photos.

Exclusion Plot
Exclusion Plot

The following on-going projects are being carried out by All Out in Mlawula Nature Reserve as part of All Outís Savanna Conservation Project (www.alloutafrica.com/projects/savanna.aspx):

Ecosystem Monitoring:

  • fixed point photography in Siphiso and Mbuluzi valleys to monitor ungulate impacts and alien species invasion

Threatened Species Monitoring:

  • survival and reproduction of Encephalartos mbuluziensis and E. lubomboensis
  • nesting and breeding success of whitebacked vulture and various other raptors
  • population monitoring of the bat Nycteris thebiaca
  • community structure monitoring of bats
  • tortoise population monitoring
  • reptile atlassing

Collaborative projects have been carried out with Quest International, including alien plant mapping and control activities, and mapping of the distribution of Encephalartos umbeluziensis.

Various research projects have been carried out at Mlawula over the years, including student projects carried out by UNISWA students. (See Research Projects.)




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SNTC Headquarters: Parliament Road. P O Box 100, Lobamba, Swaziland. Tel: (+268) 2416 1516, 2416 1489, 2416 1179. Fax: (+268) 2416 1875, 2416 1480. Email: info@sntc.org.sz
National Museum:
Tel: (+268) 2416 1179, 2416 1875
Fax: 2416 1875
Email: curator@sntc.org.sz
King Sobhuza II Memorial Park:
Tel: (+268) 2416 1179, 2416 1489
Fax: 2416 1875
Email: ksmp@sntc.org.sz
Malolotja Nature Reserve:
Tel/Fax: (+268) 2444 3241
Cell: 7660 6755
Email: culturalvillage@sntc.org.sz
Mantenga Nature Reserve:
Tel: (+268) 2416 1151
2416 1178, Fax: 2416 1480
Email: culturalvillage@sntc.org.sz
Magadzavane Lodge
Mlawula Nature Reserve:
Tel: (+268) 2343 5108/9
Fax: 2343 5111
Email: magadzavane@sntc.org.sz