Come on baby, grow! – NewSil

Come on baby, grow! – NewSil

To help stimulate the grow of the grasses, we started a new experiment with NewSil in the grazer exclusion plots.
NewSil is a product based on stabilised silicic acid and is mainy used in the agriculture. It has not been applied in wildlife yet, but is the results of this expriment could make a change in that!

Prickly Pear

Prickly Pear

Where prickley pear should only be found in the US, peolpe introduced them to other parts of the globe as well. Since the cactus is only native to the Americas, we’re trying to control the spread of the cacti with the insect “cochineal”.
We’re chopping the deceased cacti in pieces and we’re saving these pieces in order to infect the healty prickly pears.

Weed Control

Weed Control

We started the week with one of the most important, but nowadays underrated activities, gardening! Since we’re in the middle of the rain season it’s critical to give mother nature a helpful push. We do this by pulling some exotic weeds, including: thorn apple (Datura Stramonium), and applying new grass seeds of nutritious grasses.  This all will ensure the health of our fuzzy and hairy friends. And rest assured, besides the gardening this week we had lots of time to spot animals and take pics!
 

Re-seeding the reserve

Re-seeding the reserves

Volunteers work our grazer exlusion plots

With the first rains of 2016-17 wet season, the volunteers get to work re-seeding our grazer exclusion plots. Dotted around the game reserve, these plots serve to re-introduce native nutritious grasses to the reserve. We exclude heavy grazers like zebra and wildebeest to give these species of grass a chance to grow tall enough, then spread their seeds on the rest of the reserve to re-establish them everywhere (then the grazers can eat them!)

 

 

Grass species include Panicum maximum, Cenchrus ciliaris, Digitaria eriantha and Eragrostis curvula. 

Panicum maximum is one of the most nutritious grasses we can hope to grow in the Tuli block. I rated it 6 out of 6 for palatability, nutrition and leaf growth.