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Centre for African Conservation Ecology

09/12/2015

Through sweltering Karoo temperatures (up to 41 degrees C), a team of nine ACE researchers marched across mountain plateaus, scrambled down mountain slopes, and trekked across alluvial plains, all with the aim of quantifying aardvark burrow characteristics and their distribution across the landscape. A total of 1907 aardvark digs were sampled across approximately 30 km of transects in the Samara Private Game Reserve near Graaff Reinet, generating what is arguably the largest database of aardvark digs and their features. The transect width was maintained using 5 m reeds (see picture) carried by each member of the survey team. These data will allow Stephanie to estimate aardvark digging frequency across a range of landscapes, providing insights into how this keystone species varies in its impacts at this scale.