Seventeen buffalo have been captured in Camdeboo National Park to reduce numbers and maintain the condition of the herd.
The buffalo were captured in early May after an aerial census as well as ground counts indicated the population had increased to 75 animals.
In addition, the recent sustained maximum water level in the Nqweba Dam has led to a reduction in the range of wetland grazing, a favoured habitat of the buffalo. This reduction could cause buffalo to extend their normal range in search of food, particularly towards the end of the winter season.
The group of captured buffalo is now being housed in the Park boma's pending the outcome of disease testing, before they can be translocated. Buffalo are tested for a range of diseases including Tuberculosis, Contagious Abortion, Corridor Disease and Foot & Mouth, in order to ensure that these diseases are not spread by animal movement.
If certified disease-free, the buffalo will be transferred to the holding facilities in the Addo Elephant National Park, where they will be sold on the Kirkwood Game Auction, set to take place on 2 July.
Income from the sale of these buffalo, which are originally or descended from the sought-after Addo disease-free stock, is expected to exceed R3.5 million and will benefit the SANParks Development Trust, which is used for the expansion of National Parks across the country. [via sanparks.org]