Phytomas Report 2017

Each September, Olifants West Nature Reserve conducts grass surveys so that the ecological grazing capacity of the reserve can be calculated. The carrying capacity of a region is not constant over time, due to the variation in rainfall annually, and the grazing pressure from animals. This is a valuable tool to assess and monitor the health of the ecology. 

The veld condition score and the grazing capacity of the reserve is still well bellow our average, as a result of the 2016 drought. There has been a vast improvement in the primary production since the rains recorded in the 2016 / 2017 rain season and the reduction in grazer numbers, attributed to predation and emigration. 

At our current state, we should be happy that the animal pressure has been reduced as this will facilitate faster recovery of the vegetation.