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My name is Francesca and I am a Biology student at the University of Nottingham. I have the amazing opportunity of going to South Africa for 6 weeks expedition with Operation Wallacea to study the behaviour of elephants in a game reserve. Operation Wallacea is a network of academics who design and implement biodiversity and conservation management research expeditions. These surveys have enabled large biodiversity and socioeconomic data to be collected and provide crucial information to help with organising effective conservation management programmes. My project will focus on the behaviour of elephants in a small game reserve in the Eastern part of South Africa. The Pongola Game reserve has an estimated carrying capacity of 37 animals but currently its hosting over 80 individuals. Because of this over-population issue the male elephants had to undergo vasectomy. Now the population needs to be analysed to determine if this procedure has any effect on the behaviour of the animals. My research on the field would allow a more informed management of the animals in the future to ensure their wellbeing.
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