During a botanical expedition to the northern section of the Skeleton Coast National Park, Namibia, in May 2019, Wessel Swanepoel encountered an unfamiliar succulent shrublet on the summit of the Agaatberg Mountain, approximately 8 km east of Cape Fria.
Game Count Trip in Sanitas-Kunene Region
Amidst the global pandemic, in North West Namibia, conservancies undertook their annual game count activities. Whereby, game guards and members from the various conservancies came together to undertake the counting of wildlife animals on particular routes that have previously been identified as relevant in the identification of wildlife population numbers in various conservancies.
As part of explorative and base assessment activities, from the 22 to 26 May 2020 three researchers from the SCIONA project joined the game count. The researchers were given several routes to undertake as part of the game count. During the undertaking of the routes, the researchers were able to observe and identify inadequacies within the game count processes, and at the same time the researchers were able to formulate recommendations and suggestions that ought to be implemented to enable more efficient and effective game count activities.
It ought to be noted that cautionary, social distancing and health protocols were adhered to during the count.
The persistent and unprecedented drought in northwest Namibia continues to strike down livestock and wildlife in the SCIONA study area.
As part of a Master of Health Sciences Research Project, the medical readiness of Game Rangers is evaluated in the Namibian austere environment. Surveys were conducted in Organizations and Game Rangers in the various regions in Namibia. SCIONA assisted with some data collection for this study.
Three SCIONA students performed field work in Iona National Park during the month of October 2019. This included a vegetation survey in the mountainous area near Iona village.
A PhD Student travelled from Windhoek to the Centre for Microbial Ecology and Genomics, University of Pretoria during the last two week of October 2019, to carry out a DNA extraction experiment.
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