One of Darren’s concerns has been the mortality rate of pangolins which are electrocuted by the additional wires that run 20cm high about a meter away alongside game fences, as recommended in South Africa in 2009 because of jackals i.a. (see photo above). Tragically, he has found that 1 pangolin dies per year per 10km curled around these extra wires (The main electrified fence itself is not a problem because the pangolin’s side scales are insulating) A two-year controlled study is planned comparing alternative fence designs to improve game fencing.
The red sandy terrain of the Kalahari Oryx reserve is very different to the hard dolomite terrain of Mundulea, providing an interesting contrast in habitats and presumably the
’s behaviours and prey species. The challenges for pangolin tracking are also quite different. Radio transmission through the soft Kalahari sand means that Darren gets a similar Yagi detection range of 2-3km or more for a pangolin’s RF tag whether it is on the surface or underground in a den, unlike in Mundulea where the detection range may be <200m when the pangolin is in a burrow during the day. Cape Pangolin
Whilst pangolin spoor are rarely seen in the grass or rocky ground of Mundulea, their tracks can be often be followed over a distance across the Kalahari sand. Two photos below illustrate how the animal’s rounded footprints are actually slightly triangular and fall in a line behind each other. Twice Darren has even observed the heavier prints of a female mounted by a male entering a den, with separate tracks emerging later, presumably after mating.