The Purpose of Wildlife Monitoring
The Purpose of Wildlife Monitoring

The Purpose of Wildlife Monitoring

Shamwari Conservation Experience

Shamwari Conservation Experience

14 - 84 Nights from $1,619.00

Volunteer with the 'Big 5' and the Born Free Foundation in one of South Africa's finest game reserves.

View Project
Posted by Sam Hopkins on 29th May 2014 3 mins

Why is 'Wildlife Monitoring' such an important part of the volunteer projects that we offer? Here Charlotte, who works at the Shamwari Game Reserve in South Africa (the location base of the 'Shamwari Conservation Experience'), lets us know:

"When you volunteer at Shamwari Game Reserve you will spend many afternoons monitoring the various animals on the reserve. As well as general monitoring, there are dedicated sessions for the elephant and rhino population, as well one for predators. These sessions are designed to locate and check up on the health and well-being of the population on the reserve whilst observing their behaviour and recording other useful data. With 25,000 hectares to cover and a huge number of animals to keep an eye on, this is an important part of the conservation programme and is an integral part of the reserve ecosystem management.

On many occasions, during these monitoring sessions, injuries or complications have been spotted and as a result the wildlife team has been brought in to formulate a treatment plan where necessary. In the last few months the volunteers have spotted an elephant with wire wrapped around one of its legs, a baby rhino with an open wound on its leg, a buffalo with a deep wound on its knee and a lioness with a very bad gash on her cheek. All of these injuries needed veterinary treatment, either administered out in the bush or by bringing the animal into the rehabilitation centre. Either way the volunteers are involved and assist with capture, transport, treatment and release.

It is during this time that groups learn so much about animal management and what processes Shamwari has in place to keep their animal population in harmony with their environment. Not only can you be up close to the animals but you can inspect the smallest things, like touching claws, seeing the texture of the tongue, feeling the muscles in tails which you don't have an opportunity to do in the wild. There are not many people who can say they have touched a lioness's teeth! It is hard to describe what impact this has on our volunteers, it is without doubt a privilege to be this close to wild animals and play a part in managing their welfare.

All of the aforementioned animals have been stitched up, treated and released back into their natural habitat and are all recovering well. A job well done – and one that will remain with our volunteers for life. What better experience to have on your gap year or during a sabbatical!"

If you would like to take part in a volunteer project in South Africa to take part in many activities such as wildlife monitoring, then please click here.

Leave a Comment

Wanting to add something to this story or just let us know your thoughts? Just leave your comments below. Please be aware that all comments will be moderated: abusive behaviour or self-promotion will not be allowed.

500 characters remaining

Has this blog inspired you to volunteer? If so, why not enquire today? Simply fill out an enquiry form, and allow a member of our travel team to assist with your query! Please note that blog comments are not monitored by the travel team, so any questions related to bookings may be missed.