Over the years the Developer has been introducing game onto the Estate and we now have healthy numbers of Springbok (including white, black, common and copper), bontebok and Steenbok. The successful introduction of game requires both game management and other management decisions. Population growth must be managed to prevent over grazing as well as mortalities due to poor quality grazing and veld conditions. Fortunately Langebaan Country Estate (LCE), with its golf course, does provide a suitable habitat with good quality grazing, however, this needs to be managed to prevent damage to the golf course and greens.
The Developer is in the process of formalising a Game Management Programme that will form part of the overall Environmental Management System for the Estate. This programme will describe management, monitoring and decisions to be taken to achieve successful management of game at LCE. The Estate, together with interested residents, should implement a biodiversity (game, plants, avifauna, etc.) monitoring system for the Estate.
The endangered bontebok (Damaliscus pygargus pygarus) and springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis) have been successfully introduced on the Estate by the Developer. They have settled in and established their territories and family groups.
Wildlife management is a form of adaptive management. This means that management actions, as implemented, are based both on past and prevailing veld conditions as well as the wildlife population condition. Thus, in order to make informed decisions, and to adapt to changes, monitoring systems must be implemented as basis for decision-making. These records will help to interpret the integrated functioning of the natural and alien systems and be a very useful basis for the various management activities as well as providing interpretative data for inhabitants and visitors.
Home owners and staff can play an important role in the collection of biological information. This will further help and encourage participation and learning about the natural characteristics of the area. The simple recording system proposed can be used for all wildlife, not only game species. It can further be used, for example, to record observations of other wildlife and avifauna species on the Estate.
By Nicolaas Hanekom – Eco Impact, published in the Estate Times, Langebaan country Estate. LCE Newsletter – July 2015, Volume 9, Page 3.