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Ecological information

Methods used to gather ecological information should be described in detail. Results should be discussed and recommendations made where applicable. The following ecological information should be collected and analysed by a suitably qualified environmental practitioner:

  1. General climatic conditions for the property. Annual rainfall figures are of particular importance.
  2. All water bodies on the property should be described and their distribution indicated on a map.
  3. General description of the geology of the property. A geological map should be provided.
  4. General description of the geohydrology, hydrology and drainage.
  5. General description of soils and land types. A map should be provided for both.
  6. Detailed description of vegetation communities (types, patterns, units). Vegetation units should be thoroughly described. A vegetation map should be provided and the extent of each unit stated in hectares.
  7. Carrying capacity for game (both grazing and browsing capacity). Carrying capacity based on veld condition and rainfall should be provided. Carrying capacity for below and above average rainfall years should also be provided. The methods used to determine carrying capacity should be described in detail.
  8. Game numbers on the property should be provided. Methods used to obtain these numbers should be explained.
  9. A stocking rate model with all current game species in their respective feeding classes should be provided.
  10. A stocking rate model with all proposed game species in their respective feeding classes should be provided.
  11. Predator density predictions based on the Hayward et al. 2007 (link). A list of all large predators present on the property and their current population numbers should be provided.
  12. A list of threatened habitats and species should be provided. GPS co-ordinates of their localities on the property should be provided where possible.
  13. Areas with bush encroachment and soil erosion should be indicated on a map.
  14. The number, sex ratio and age classes of Lion on the property (or to be introduced) should be provided.
  15. A projection of the prey species population should be provided.
  16. Using applicable models, prey species should be converted into biomass, and the projection of predation on prey species should be provided.

This information will be utilised by a government affiliated ecologists to determine the suitability of the property for the introduction of Cheetah.