Matt and his wife Noa were lucky enough to go to Phinda (Zuka Lodge) during the summer season and witness the first radio collaring of a Pangolin.
Pangolins have been locally extinct in Zululand for around 50 – 60 years. In 2019, Phinda saw the birth of it’s first pup within the reserve. This was a major celebration and an opportunity arose to put the first radio collar on this pup.
It’s a bit tricky during the summer months as the bush is thicker and pangolins and their food sources are active at night. However, Matt and Noa happened to be there at the right place and right time.
The aim of the Phinda Pangolin Project is to use radio collars to monitor and track pangolins to understand more about their behaviour, nature, characteristics and in essence, garner as much research as possible of these critically endangered animals. The radio collars typically last for 6 – 8 months and then need to be replaced with new batteries.
The aim is also to get interested participants, tourists and conservationists to contribute to the donation of collars. In turn, these donors can participate in a pangolin walking safari and chat to researchers and understand the difficulties pangolins face. It’s a tangible and authentic way of seeing where your donations are going and how they are directly assisting with conservation efforts.