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Operation Wallacea Africa 2016 - Victoria Coulton

Billacombe, Plymouth

£3.96 raised

1 supporter

About Operation Wallacea Africa 2016 - Victoria Coulton

I have been lucky enough to gain a place on an Operation Wallacea expedition to South Africa. On the expedition, I will spend 4 weeks in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa, volunteering as a research assistant. For the first three weeks, I will be based in Thanda Private Game Reserve as part of a team investigating the effects of elephant overgrazing on the biodiversity of the area. Approximately 60% of protected areas in South Africa are divided into game reserves, which restrict the free movement of animals. This has become a problem with expanding elephant populations, who historically migrate large distances, as overgrazing can cause damage to the vegetation and have a knock on effect on the other wildlife. In Thanda, the reserve has lowered some of the dividing fences between the neighboring reserves to allow free movement of game. We will be conducting biodiversity surveys around the reserve in order to see the effect this extra space has had on the elephants, and whether the levels of overgrazing are reduced. The project aim is to encourage other reserves to drop the dividing fences in order to create a continuous conservation area for elephants to roam freely. For the final week, I will travel to Sodwana Bay, where I will have the incredible opportunity to gain an international qualification in diving (PADI) on one of the most stunning and diverse coral reefs in the world.

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