HUMAN WILDLIFE CONFLICT

Case Study by Sean Altern – Consultant: Biodiversity Conservation Services

NCC safely catching and relocating two domestic geese to Cape of Good Hope SPCA facilities.

The South African experience would not be complete without some level of animal interaction. With natural areas bordering the urban edge, these encounters can unfortunately be unwelcome and even troublesome.

Whilst visiting peafowl, wild (non-native) white geese or guineafowl may be exciting at first their continued presence can lead to an assortment of damage and even health and safety concerns as they foul paving and swimming pools, disturb light sleepers and destroy gardens and golf courses. And whilst the fluffy tail of squirrels endears them to many this sentiment soon sours as when they are found ripping curtains or blocking gutters with their nests. Porcupines have a fondness for expensive cycads or prized vegetable garden and needless to say an unwelcome encounter with a puff adder or Cape cobra under your couch is less than desired!

NCC Environmental Services is highly experienced when dealing with a wide variety of animals after years of routine relocations of minor individuals through callouts as well as implementing large scale management programmes for species such as baboons, mallard ducks, guttural toads and caracal throughout the country. NCC is permitted by CapeNature and licensed by the SPCA to perform rapid or planned relocations for a wide variety of animals and all encounters are dealt with in an ethical and professional manner.

Operating in an unobtrusive and eco-friendly manner

NCC Environmental Services follows strict approved capture methodologies that vary depending on the specifics of the animal and location. Call outs for removals of snakes require an immediate response whereas other species such as geese might entail weeks of preparation work in the form of habituation. At times a situation such as flocks of established guinea fowl may call for an extended trapping programme whilst differing circumstances or species may warrant one or two iterations of sedatives assisted capture. NCC evaluates each request and tailors the approach to best fit the situation in the most unobtrusive and eco-friendly manner.

Relocations are generally more about protecting the animal from humans than the other way round. All relocations are undertaken methodically and according to the permitted and ethical standards of our license. Each case will be evaluated and the chosen methodology fully explained to the client before implementation and relocation occurs.

NCC is permitted by Cape Nature and licensed by the SPCA to perform rapid or planned relocations for a wide variety of animals and all encounters are dealt with in an ethical and professional manner

The sooner the response the better

Effective wildlife management is best achieved through avoiding attraction of wildlife or implementing deterrent measures to prevent the issue from becoming a problem. Such behaviour includes not feeding wild animals or making design changes to one’s property that reduces the attraction of the property. Such advice and implementation of appropriate measures are available from NCC.

In the event that an unwanted situation has developed, the sooner the response is initiated to relocate the animals the better. Animals can always surprise us with their ability to adapt and, at times, outsmart us. As such complacency is kept at bay as our methods are constantly refined building on the collective experiences of our teams and their love for wildlife.

Never take matters into your own hands, hurt or try kill an unwanted wild animal. Instead, call or email NCC Environmental Services for assistance. NCC believes in co-existence of our shared planet and understands at times even those that share the space may be unwelcome and need to be relocated in a professional, safe and ethical manner.

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