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Amy Trent

MSc candidate in Geography and Environmental Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Supervisors: Prof. Stefan Grab (WITS), Dr Dave Thompson (SAEON Ndlovu) and Prof. Deron Burkepile (Florida International University, USA)

Amy's interests lie within the broad topics of conservation and climate change, and she is am passionate about wildlife conservation and enjoys working with wildlife.


Faunal utilisation of artificial waterholes in the central Kruger National Park: Contemporary seasonal patterns and implications for climate change scenarios.

Description: The use of remote photography is an innovative method to observe faunal waterhole utilisation patterns. Analyses of webcam images provide information on species-specific waterhole usage and the impact that extreme environmental conditions, seasonal changes, and species association and avoidance behaviours might have on such waterhole usage patterns. Given the projected future impacts of global climate change on water availability, it is essential to investigate current water usage by fauna in the Kruger National Park (KNP), so as to better ascertain likely future water requirements under specific climate change scenarios. Use remote imagery from four artificial waterholes located in central Kruger National Park  (Satara, Shibotwana, Orpen and Rockvale) this project aims to establish faunal waterhole usage patterns and utilisation behaviours under ‘normal’ rainfall and temperature conditions and, more particularly, under ‘extreme’ climate conditions. In addition, three scales of animal census data - site (webcam imagery), local (local counts conducted by co-workers) and regional (aerial census data provided by SANParks), will be compared to determine whether fauna utilise artificial waterholes in proportion to their abundance. The outcomes of this project will assist wildlife managers in drafting guidelines for supplemental water provision in protected areas.

Amy Trent
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