Tiny lives in the grass and rocks: A workshop at Telperion Nature Reserve, South Africa

25 May 2024 By WildTrack

What happens when you bring a group together that’s diverse in their interests, skillsets, ethnicity, culture, experience, and much more? Innovation! At our recent workshop in Telperion Nature Reserve, we hosted the amazing group above - consisting of professional biologists, expert trackers, policy-makers, military officers, engineers, students, administrators, parks scientists, technicians, school students, a catering team who had multiple other talents, and more!

These diverse perspectives enabled us to design and deliver new small mammal footprint tunnels that don’t require animals to be captured and helped us formulate better human:wildlife conflict mitigation strategies. We learned how to interpret track plates through the eyes of trackers, and they saw small mammal foot anatomy up close for the first time. These are just some examples of the many insights we all gained.

Here are (from L to R) Tinao Petso (military officer and aerospace engineer, Botswana Defence Force; Shimane Makhabo (Professor, Botswana Agricultural University), and Tshediso Putsane (Field assistant, National Museum Bloemfontein), working together in the field to collect footprint from small mammals for our reference library.

With thanks for wonderful support in all forms from JRS Biodiversity Foundation, Oppenheimer Generations Research and Conservation, the National Museum, Bloemfontein, and JMP Software.