MISSION 3 OF 2010
Name of Mission: Crocodile Count 2 of 2010 – Ndumo
Date of Mission: 31st January 2010
Aircraft used: Bushbaby
Beneficiary: Peter Calverley
Pilots: Donovan Barton-Hobbs
Pilot’s story of the mission : By DONOVAN BARTON-HOBBS
The most recent Crocodile Count, conducted on the 31st January, was a count of the crocodile nests in the Ndumo area. Due to the recent rains and the very flat terrain, most of the park was under water. Consequently, although Peter Calverley was happy to have flown the perimeter of the reserve to get an appreciation of the magnitude of the flooding, we did not see any crocodile nests.
Flying conditions were again challenging with the bumpy hot North Easter prevailing.
Beneficiary’s story of the mission : By PETER CALVERLEY
On the 31st January 2010 Bateleurs pilot Donovan Barton-Hobbs flew a nesting survey in the Ndumo Game Reserve. High water levels due to the flooding Usutu River and unprecedented water releases from Jozini Dam had flooded almost all of the available nesting sites in the reserve, but nonetheless, a full aerial survey was carried out.
Weather conditions were good for a nest survey with a temperature of 28 degrees and a negligible North easterly wind of 10 knots. The survey was conducted at an average speed of 75mph at an elevation of 200 – 300 feet. The survey lasted 45 minutes during which time no nests were found. The reason for this is undoubtedly the extremely high water levels in the reserve flooding suitable nesting areas.
Once again the effort of The Bateleurs and their pilots is much appreciated in the ongoing research into the conservation of Nile crocodiles in Zululand. We look forward to working with you in the future.