I've been reluctant to write a new post about these images because, well, I just couldn't think of a good story to go with the images. However I now need to use the card and am reluctant to add another 4GB of images to the hard drive on my ageing laptop. So its a case of use-them-or-lose-them - and I've decided to use them.
Salt licks (possibly better described as mineral licks) are commonly used in wildlife reserves in Southern Africa. They're particularly used in the dry winter months when the quality of the grass is often poor. I don't know to what extent the mammals really need the additional minerals or whether they just like them. But that is immaterial because mammals arrive at the lick in droves, especially if there is also water in the vicinity. So its an interesting site for a camera-trap.
These mineral supplements usually begin as a sold rectangular block. But it doesn't take long before they get licked down into an amorphous blob, like the one at Tswalu, shown below:
There were various mammals in the area when we arrived to set up the camera and it wasn't long after we left that the first 'lickers' arrived. The procession hardly stopped for two days.
|Springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis)|
|Blue Wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus)|
|Gemsbok (Oryx gazella)|
|Greater Kudu ( Tragelaphus strepsiceros)|
|Common Eland (Tragelaphus oryx)|
|Hartmann's Mountain Zebra (Equus zebra hartmannae)|
|Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis)|
|Common Warthog (Phacochoerus africanus)|
|Roan Antelope (Hippotragus equinus)|
|Impala (Aepyceros melampus)|
So what's the story here?
Well, for many wildlife professionals working in reserves like Tswalu these scenes are a daily occurence. But for the rest of us these camera-trap images represent an extraordinary view into the daily life of mammals in Africa. 3984 images in two days! Its a story that I hope our grand-children will still get to see.