Animals, Plants and Birds

Vegetation management is one of the most if not the most important aspect in wildlife management.  In order to manage the Timbavati, reach our goals and set objectives, an extensive survey of the vegetation on the area was done.  Formal sampling was performed at 60 sample sites on the reserve. Sampling consisted of the herbaceous and woody layer (tree layer), soils and geology.  Sample analysis produced three main plant communities on the reserve, with the main determining factor being soil clay content and thus soil moisture retention ability. Variation within these communities does occur but related to management goals and objectives are negligible.

Fire management on the reserve is aimed at increasing the heterogeneity of the landscape as well as the rejuvenation of the grass sward.  The Timbavati currently uses a fire regime known as the Patch mosaic fire regime.  This fire regime simulates natural fire occurrence in that the fire is lit at predetermined points and left (with minimal interference) to burn.  This type of fire naturally burns high biomass areas and dies out on areas that would not under natural circumstances have burnt.

The variation in fire intensity as well as the fact that the fire burnt some areas and others not, increases the potential of diversity in terms of species richness, rejuvenation rates of plants (both the herbaceous layer and woody layer) varies and this increases the heterogeneity of the fire scare area, and on a higher scale that of the total reserve.