Zululand Observer - Weekender
Four Klipspringers reintroduced in park
FULFILLING their commitment to re-establish the Babanango region as a prime conservation area, Zulu Rock reintroduced two pairs of Klipspringers.
They were released into the area previously made up of game farms, but which is now home to Zulu Rock Game Ranch and the Babanango Outdoor Education (BOE) project.
The area has extraordinary biodiversity, which lends itself to the reintroduction of game, including the Big Five.
It also forms part of the Umfolozi Biodiversity Economy Node development, which is a chain of linked private protected areas, private game farms and communal land.
This could potentially create a conservation area of 20 000 hectares.
Ryan Andraos, Deputy Reserve Manager of Zulu Rock Game Ranch, says being involved in game lodges means understanding the importance of a healthy environment and eco-system.
The reintroduction of Klipspringers is another step closer to re-establishing the Babanango eco-system.
The Babanango area falls within the Klipspringer’s range, but there have been no recorded sightings of the animals over many years.
Hunted to extinction
It is likely that they were hunted to extinction in the area for the food they provide and their pelts.
The community has shown positive interest in the reintroduction of Klipspringers and the reserve hopes the release will help to establish a resident, healthy population.
‘In doing so, this will help the persistence and stability of the species as a whole,’ said Andraos.
The Klipspringers were brought in from Doornkom Reserve, south of Mokopane in Limpopo.
This monogamous antelope has very specific habitat requirements and are commonly found in rocky hills, outcrops and gorges, and travel up to 10km along flatland between isolated koppies.
They tend to avoid populated areas.
Klispringers are an integral part of the ecological system, providing an important food source to leopard and caracal.
They are also preyed upon by Verreaux’s, Tawny and Martial eagles owing to the overlap in their distribution and habitat choices.