Last year, October 2015, members of Biosphere Expeditions stuck out a Bushnell camera trap on a fence line on a remote part of the Kouga Mountains, in land adjacent to Blue Hill Nature Reserve. Due to its remote location, it was not collected until October this year: it had spent an entire year deployed snapping away wildlife of the fynbos. While we were expecting the batteries to be flat after only a few months of recording, incredibly, the camera still had power to snap a shot of the person removing the camera.
The camera recorded 240 photos; including setting up and taking down the camera: several events either side. Over 70 photos were associated with a fire; which the camera survived; and it also survived being rearranged by a baboon. In the latter case, only just: one of the cable ties had been snapped during the encounter with the baboon, which clearly had made a long and dedicated effort to ripping it off its post.
As in many cases, many photos were blank, or unidentifiable; but otherwise apart from baboon the camera recorded klipspringer, red-tailed rock-rabbit, sengi, Cape rockjumper, striped polecat and a black-backed jackal; the last being the only species recorded in the 2 months post fire period.
Here are some of the highlights.
|Setting up the camera|
|Red-tailed Rock Rabbit was quite common|
|The only antelope recorded was Klipspringer, here a female|
|Juvenile, female and male Cape Rockjumper were the only birds recorded|
|There was no clear reason the camera took a photo of this pretty sunset|
|The approaching juvenile delinquent|
|At least 20 photos of him fiddling with the camera|
|Giving up just in time|
|Striped Polecat was recorded surprisingly frequently: more so here than at any other Blue Hill NR location|
|Sengi, or Elephant Shrew|
|Male Cape Rockjumper|
|The approaching Fire|
|In the post fire months, only Black backed Jackal and Polecat were recorded.|
|... and the resident male Klipspringer|
|Taking the camera down after 1 year.|