Episode 32 Season 6: 28 June 2015
Bio-blitz: a frenzy of scientific activity
When it comes to assessing the environmental health of an area, the idea is to be able to quantify and monitor all aspects of the ecology of that particular region, everything from frogs and snakes, to spiders and mammals. Identifying large animals such as antelope, and even birds, although sometimes challenging, is nothing in comparison to some of the smaller creepy crawlies that actually make up the majority of the biodiversity of any area. So how is it to be done? Well, Bertus heads of to the Limpopo province to where a dedicated team of experts in their respective fields is performing their annual ‘bio-blitz’. Armed with nets, traps, jars and plenty of passion, the team have 48 hours to catch and record as many critters as they can. There is even ‘the fly lady’, complete with her rather revolting bag of unidentifiable rotting matter – every organism is important. Not wanting to miss out on the fun, Bertus joins this enthusiastic bunch of conservationists to see what surprises are in store.
Danger files: Python under the bed
As children, many of us will repeatedly check under the bed for any signs of ‘the boogy-man’, ready to grab us around the ankle. As we grow up, we mostly forget about the nightly terrors, and the worst thing we normally find under out bed is a dust bunny, or a forgotten chocolate bar, now covered in ants. However, for one woman, this childhood nightmare actually came true, when a 12 foot python, having retreated under her bed for warmth or in search of prey, grabbed hold of her ankle with its row of razor sharp teeth. Join us in this week’s danger files to find out more.
Wildlife Wonder: cheetah of Kapama
In the human world it is often said that ‘cheaters’ never prosper. In the animal kingdom, the very same adage applies, but in the more literal sense. Cheetah’s have much to contend with. Other bigger more aggressive predators, shrinking habitats, and high cub mortality to name a few. We follow the heart-wrenching journey of a mother cheetah at the Kapama Game reserve, as she fights to raise her little family of cubs. What will the outcome be? Join us for a special feature-length Wildlife Wonder that will have us all reaching for our tissues as we watch the whole story unfold.
We are being VEEEERY sneaky here on Veld Focus this evening: a crocodile demonstrates the perfect ambush, a leopard goes into stealth mode, and we get a good look at one of South Africa’s most covert critters.