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Nicky Maraschin

MSc candidate in Geography, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg Supervisors: Prof. Stefan Grab (WITS) and Dr Dave Thompson (SAEON Ndlovu)

Nicky completed her Honours in 2013 and continued working with her supervisors to expand that research to form her ongoing MSc.


Mammal distribution and drinking behaviour in relation to rainfall patterns in the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park: 2004 to 2012

Description: The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park comprises two adjoining national parks, with the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park (SANParks) being located in South Africa. This project focuses on analysing historical regional climate data for evidence of patterns of change in rainfall and temperature in the greater KTP over the most recent 5 decades. Further, the project will interpret aerial census data for the period 2004-2013 against concurrent fine-scale climate data to better understand large mammal faunal distributions and migration within the KGNP and species-specific water requirements in relation to different environmental conditions and certain climatic controls. Additionally, the research includes webcam imagery for the past ~3 years to reveal specific drinking behaviours at a selected artificial water point. The outcomes of this project – an understanding of long-term regional climate trends, and the effects of temperature thresholds and rainfall patterns on species distributions and drinking behaviours, will assist conservation managers in drafting guidelines for supplemental water provision, protected area expansion, and stocking rates in this semi-arid protected area.


Her interests include conservation, which stems from a love for animals and the natural environment, wildlife photography, hiking and game viewing. Nicky also enjoys cycling and was a competitive horse rider for several years.

Nicky Maraschin
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