While Maun and the Okavango Delta have been receiving both good and consistent rainfall since early November, much of the rest of Botswana has so far received intermittent rains. Recently the Makgadikgadi had been very dry for the time of year and it was possible to drive across the pans from the south without the worry of getting stuck. However, this all changed last week with over 200mm falling within a few days. With further rainfall to be expected before the end of March it looks likely that the zebra will remain in the eastern Makgadikgadi for the foreseeable future. In 2009, 180 mm of rain in June provided sufficient water to allow zebra’s to graze for more than 3 months in the eastern grasslands. I wait to see how long this most recent rain will keep them in the east for.
Over the next few weeks I will be based in Maun, finalising my plans for the upcoming field season as well as continuing with my fundraising in order to ensure a successful year. The first major step will be to redeploy the GPS collars now that they have had new batteries fitted to them. This will take place towards the end of March while the zebra are in the east and will involve the identification and darting of 10 random adult zebra mares.
I hope that you are all having a good 2010 and, as ever, if you have any questions or comments then I would like to hear from you.