African Savanna Ecology

ENV 323/623 at Kruger National Park, South Africa

Latest posts

  • Poaching: Not Black and White

    Poaching: Not Black and White

    Laurence Kruger talked about how poaching and conservation is not a clear black and white issue. Rather than just being greedy, many poachers suffer from low income and try to figure out ways to survive. Additionally, anti-poachers and their families face a lot of social pressure. Some even release information (i.e. locations of prized animals)…

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  • Babies, Babies, Babies!

    Babies, Babies, Babies!

    A pregnant gerbil was first captured by a D trap, and the day after it was captured again by a B trap at the same site (which is about 20 m away). The mother gerbil was trap happy! Both times when captured it was giving birth…hopefully its babies will survive!

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  • Welcome to the world Gnu!

    Welcome to the world Gnu!

    During one of the game drives, we stumbled across a recent birth of an African buffalo!! We watched the amniotic sack come out of the mother and watched the little ones first steps. Such a special and magical moment to be a part of. We named the little one Gnu! Not many good photos of…

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  • Seed Disperser or Seed Predator?

    Seed Disperser or Seed Predator?

    One of the experiments students conducted was exploring the distance a seed is for a squirrel to be a seed disperser or predator. Marula nuts are a fan favorite among squirrels in South Africa. These squirrels practice scatter hoarding where they hide food in a bunch of places within their territory. The scattered burial of…

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  • Do you know what a savanna is really?

    Do you know what a savanna is really?

    One of the first question posed to students was how would you describe a savanna? Answered range from seasonally dry, megafauna and grazers present, fire as a disturbance, low latitudes, etc. If you had to guess from the photos below which do you think would be classified as a savanna? It is actually a trick…

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  • Blink and you’ll miss it!

    Blink and you’ll miss it!

    Students stumbled upon a small lion pride of 2 brothers with 2 females! Lions are territorial and typically you will only see one male amongst females, but in this case the brothers could be cordial! Check out more photos in the photo gallery!

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  • Mouse, Gerbil…. and a Frog????

    Mouse, Gerbil…. and a Frog????

    Students set out rodent traps and after one day there were some crazy surprises! 2 bush veld gerbils, 1 fat mouse, and some unexpected bush veld rain frogs! Measurements were taken including weight and body length, individuals were marked, and set free!

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  • ROYG I Can’t Believe It!

    ROYG I Can’t Believe It!

    Day 1 of the Duke University Biodiversity and Climate Change class in Kruger National Park! Jim Clark, the god of the forest, ditched the textbook and took his students to South Africa to learn in the field! Follow along for a beautiful journey of wildlife, trees, and seeds. You’ll hear from students, guides, professors and…

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