Update on Cheetahs Introduced onto Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park
As a result of the collaborative efforts of Wildlife ACT and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, a new coalition consisting of two young male Cheetah, was recently released onto Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, as part of the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Cheetah Expansion Project.
Once an endangered species is released into a new area, it is essential that its progress is monitored. That is where we come in. Daily monitoring allows us to keep an eye on their safety, movements, ecological influences, breeding habits, snaring incidences, and other human conflict issues.
CM23 & CM24 have moved into the Wilderness Area of iMfolozi. The iMfolozi Wilderness is a 30 000ha area that has been largely undisturbed by humans. The primary goal of a dedicated wilderness area is to protect intact ecosystems and to encourage natural processes and conditions to operate free from human influence.
In order to maintain this wilderness area, there are no roads through the area. This in turn makes it tricky for us to get direct, daily observations. Luckily, both males were fitted with Wildlife ACT Innovations LoRa (long-range) collars, and so we are able to monitor them remotely until they venture north again (GPS data allows us to monitor their movements across the reserve).
Another method of monitoring Cheetah, using telemetry and the VHF component on the collars, is by triangulating their resting positions. This is the process of determining the location of a point (collar) by taking two bearings in the direction of the signal, with an ideal difference of 90 degrees. The collar location is the point where the two bearings intersect. Plotting these points shows us that they are mobile, helps us to understand their preferred routes, and helps us to predict potential roads to take for direct visuals.
We will continue to monitor their progress and look forward to updating you on their progress soon.
Text by Wildlife ACT Priority Species Monitor: iMfolozi, Gareth Robinson
Read more about the introduction here: