1O – Protecting the Porcupine

Supporting article O: Let’s get behind initiatives that protect the biodiversity still existing in our country: The Porcupine.

http://winetimes.co.za/2010/08/19/hug-a-porcupine/

Hug a Porcupine
05:52, 19th August, 2010 by porcupinequest.com

Porcupine Ridge wines have been on the market for a while, but did you know that a percentage of wines sales sponsors a good cause?
The Porcupine Quest aims to understand more about this animal and its role in promoting biodiversity in the Cape. As such Boekenhoutskloof is helping to fund a study by Christy Bragg, a PhD student at the University of Cape Town. Her four-year project on porcupines specifically investigates the effect that porcupine foraging has on different Cape ecosystems, like at Nieuwoudtville in the Northern Cape and in the Kalahari Desert as well as in Franschhoek.
In an effort to better understand the foraging and living habits of the Cape Porcupine, Christy Bragg, together with Hotgroup, custom designed 16 state-of-the-art wildlife GPS tracking collars which were sponsored by Boekenhoutskloof winery.
There is already evidence that porcupines play a central role in maintaining or increasing the diversity of geophytes (or bulb plants) in Nieuwoudtville. And Bragg will be gathering more detailed information by tracking their movements over a long time period.
To date, two of these collars have been fitted to test subjects in Bragg’s primary study site in Nieuwoudtville -and more collars will be fitted to animals in the Karoo, Kalahari and Franschhoek regions.
Not only will the study investigate foraging behaviour and the porcupine’s role in the ecosystem, it will also study porcupine biology and habits. Another aspect of the study is research into ways to lessen the damage that porcupines can inflict on farms.