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August 2023

August, the last month within the dry season in South Africa and you’ll have long days packed with sunshine and warmth, with temperatures averaging from 27 degrees during the day and at night-time 7 degrees. Sunrise is at 06:34 and sunset at 18:00, with a remaining daylight of 7h 36 min. August is famous for its windy days, but soon everything will change and start getting green again.

The fastest land mammal on the planet, reaching speeds of up to 110km/hour in just 3 – 4 seconds. They belong to the Felidae family. A large slender cat that faces extinction pressure, because of climate change, hunted by humans as well as habitat destruction. Their own genes also pose a challenge to their continued survival. Males travel together, known as a coalition, where the females are solitary. Often people refer to leopards having spots, in fact they have rosettes on their body and this land mammal has spots. A lot is happening in conservation to protect this specie of going extinct.

The Cheetah, one of Africa’s most vulnerable cats with a territory ranging between 400 to 700 square kilometres. Females will travel within home ranges that will overlap multiple male groups territories. Cheetahs face other danger as well. Being so exposed all the time in the open savanna and grasslands, there is always other competition for them. Predators like Lions, Leopards and Hyenas is a major threat for a cheetah when it comes to competition. It’s always important to ensure a balance in the predator-prey population, fortunately cheetahs do not adapt well in protected areas.

These days there’s a lot of conservation in the wild and therefore a lot of the reserves and national parks will work together, for this animal not to reach extinction. Researchers and volunteers help to regrow the population through health and reproduction, ecological research, cheetah census. These people protecting the cheetahs will investigate, conflict of wildlife as well as humans’ interference.

Cheetahs control a large number of mammal species in their ecosystem and therefore their main prey are herbivores. Without cheetahs or any other predators, these populations grow. This can cause serious problems such as “over grazing”: when animals eat all the vegetation. Here in Madikwe Game Reserve we will walk the extra mile to conserve for our animals that are venerable and to try our very best to protect them on a daily basis.

Until next time

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