Next Gen Herpetologist

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So now that winter is coming to an end, snakes and other reptiles are starting to become far more abundant. One species that has become particularly abundant in the last few weeks, is the puff adder (Bitis arietans). To give context, in the last week, I have come across three puff adders. Two of them were average-sized adult males and the the third was a very large, very pregnant, female puff adder, which… Read More

Today I accompanied Gareth to Kwandwe Private Game Reserve. He was looking for friends, because as I am sure you know, zoologists have few in the way of friends. Zoologists tend to keep to themselves, and when they do interact, they end up talking incoherently about the misconceptions of elephant-ecosystem interactions. Gareth is a prime example. But enough about that! Let’s rather talk about his project. Today he was setting up camera traps at Kwandwe Private Game… Read More

I am doing a genetics project, and whilst I have come to understand the ‘fundamental’ processes which underlie molecular biology, there are many people out there that don’t. This post thus serves the purpose of teaching those of you who interested, just a little bit about what I do and how I do it. I don’t claim to be an expert nor do I claim to be good at it, but bear… Read More

Yesterday I accompanied Gareth Nuttall_Smith on a trip to a local game reserve, to setup his Masters project. The project which involves both vegetation transects and camera traps, aims to determine the effect of elephant presence on thickets throughout the Eastern Cape. We set off for Lalibela Game Reserve, one of the 11 reserves, on the Monday afternoon and managed to set up all three camera traps that same day. Whilst it… Read More

Recently I went to Hogsback. For those who do not know, it is a quaint little town in the middle of the Eastern Cape with little to no influence from the outside world. What this town lacks in modernity, it makes up for in biodiversity. Hogsback is home to the Cape Parrot Project and the critically endangered Amathole toad (Vandijkophrynus amatolicus). Hogsback is lucky enough to call this species home because of… Read More

Augrabies, Northern Cape Aggeneys, Northern Cape Grahamstown, Eastern Cape Ndumo, Northern Kwazulu Natal Graaff Reinet, Eastern Cape

In an attempt to revive a bygone era of mystery and exploration, Luke and I ventured into the unknown in search of the elusive yet locally abundant berg adder Bitis atropos in Barberton (Mpumulanga). Barberton, a hop, a skip and a jump away from civilisation, is one of a few locations famous for berg adders. The trip began on the 13th of July 2016 and was marked by many a sighting. Whilst… Read More

I have loved snakes for as long I can remember. They fascinate and inspire me to read more and more. They very well may be the thing I choose to base my life’s work on one day, and it’s this love that has steered me towards my latest Zoological endeavour: the study of spotted skaapstekers and their distribution In South Africa Unlike my first project which saw me growing buckets upon buckets of… Read More