Thursday, April 01, 2010

Fieldwork along the Southern Buffalo fence between Habu and Matsibe

HOORC staff recently spent 9 days in the field collecting data on woody vegetation at 20 pairs of transect either side of the buffalo fence, as part of a study on "Fence Induced Change in Biodiversity and Range Quality in the Southern Okavango" with implications for policy and management. The team comprised of Lin Cassidy, Richard Fynn, Bongani Sethebe, Thebe Kemosedile, Senhenyi Tlotlego and Mompati Kupe. Information on plant species and structure was collected to establish differences in diversity of woody plants between the two sides of the fence. The timing for the field work was excellent, with most of the plants either flowering of fruiting, facilitating identification. Grewia berries provided the team with extra energy as they spent hours every day walking and recording in the blistering heat. Bongani Sethebe also used this time to collect unusual plant museums for the herbarium. Other field trips on this study have focused on collecting soil samples, conducting training samples for ground truthing satellite imagery, collecting herbaceous layer samples to assess nutrient quality and grass species, and undertaking a bird survey. the results of this data will be used in the overall assessment of the degree to which vegetation inside the fence has changes as a result of the truncation of wild animal movements.

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