Ringing – the Bushveld setting

Our Bushveld bird ringing / bird banding site is set within the Savanna Biome and the Central Bushveld Bioregion. This area forms the southernmost extension of the most widespread biome in Africa. This area is dominated by thorn trees (such as the knobthorn, Acacia nigrescens), bushwillows (such as the red bushwillow, Combretum apiculatum), and cluster-leafs (such as purple-pod cluster-leaf, Terminalia prunoides). Along the rivers, riparian forest is made up of leadwoods (Combretum imberbe), and apple leafs (Philenoptera violacea). Baobab trees (Adansonia digitata) also dot the landscape. Our bird ringing / bird banding site is on a 4000 ha private game reserve, which has a full compliment of plains game, ranging from the smallest antelope such as steenbok, right up to the largest antelope, eland. There are also zebra, giraffe, baboons, and vervet monkeys. The property only has one of the Big Five (leopard) and is thus safe for walking and conducting ringing activities. Key features in this area include a bushveld river, with attendant Nile crocodiles, and the Dwarsberg Mountain, which has quartzite cliff faces rising 300 m above the surrounding landscape. Birdlife in this area is diverse and includes Savanna species from both xeric (drier) and mesic (wetter) habitats because the site lies in the transition zone between the two.

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