Wood Collection


The Reserves  wood project has been in full swing since the beginning of March and is progressing well, not only are  lodges on the reserve  purchasing wood, but are assisting with their own “clean up” as the contractors remove wood from around the lodges to fulfil the orders.


This has assisted the habitat team as excess wood is cleared, thereby lessening the risk of fuel load and potential fire risk.


We are making a small contribution to the reserve by employing a local small business contractor as well as employing ex TNR staff who had lost their jobs due to the pandemic.


We are also mitigating the risk of importing the Polyphagus shothole-borer beetle.


Big Tree and Vulture Nest Protection


Due to the high population of elephants on the TNR, since the fences came down four years ago, we have experienced significant tree damage. We have flagged this as a high priority project to protect as many large and vulnerable trees on the property as we can. We intend introducing three methods:


1. Beehives

29 vulture nests have been identified and GPS pinned across the reserve. These trees will be fitted with beehives. Hives are purchased from Elephants Alive, the costs include the bees, which will need to be fed if there is a shortage of pollen in dry months. We have already purchased two boxes as a trial. Elephants Alive will install the boxes, monitor the bees, and feed them with a manufactured pollen when necessary.


2. Mesh Wrapping

Together with the ecologists, a decision was made to protect our most vulnerable trees on the reserve which are our large Marulas and Knob thorns. We will commence with ‘wire wrapping’ as well as dung pasting, a foul-smelling mixture of manure is painted onto the trees before they are wrapped in chicken wire (this prevents stripping of bark). Elephants Alive marks each tree and monitors the trees for their research. They will also inform us when the wire will require maintenance or loosening as the tree grows. They will re-hire causal labour, who are currently aiding with the wood project to help with this process.


3. Rock Packing

Rock packing will commence in parts of the reserve. This method prevents trees from being pushed over. Elephants do this when their food source is under pressure and they “track the nutrients in the trees. The nutrients travel down towards the root system as the leaves droop and wilt at the top.” This is a more expensive method as TNR is short of rocks so these will need to be brought in from outside the reserve.



  THORNYBUSH NATURE RESERVE, LIMPOPO, S.A.  |    +27 (00) 000-0000


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