Students raise funds for rhinos

Field courses are a highlight of our degree courses. Here, three of our final year students write about their 2015 trip to South Africa and some fundraising by @UoGBioSociety. The 2016 trip leaves on Saturday 7 May, and you can keep in touch via the Twitter hashtag #UoGMankwe

Recently we held a fundraiser in the campus bar, raising £471.13 for Mankwe Wildlife Reserve in South Africa. Mankwe is situated in North West Province, with around 48 species of large mammal, 400 species of bird, as well as species of reptile, small mammal and insects. For more information have a look on their website. In October 2014 Mankwe was hit badly by poachers, losing 2 adult rhino and one full-term calf, and then their bull rhino shortly after. One of the adult rhinos that died left a young calf who survived for nearly a year before she died. We visited Mankwe in May 2015 and spent nearly 2 weeks there. While we were there we experienced first-hand the daily challenges that staff face when trying to protect the rhino. Mankwe is one of the destinations for the second year residential field course, and UGlosBioscience students have been raising money for them for the last 3 years.

 

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The 2015 UGlosBioscience group

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Jimbo: one of the Mankwe calves born since the poaching

 

Brad and SJ spent 4 days of our visit studying rhino behaviour and got to appreciate each one individually and see how important they are to the ecosystem. While Ellie studied large mammal movements in response to heat sources.

Three of the rhino at Mankwe

As part of our event we had a raffle with over £200 of prizes donated from local retailers, live music, cake sale, bug eating contest, bug holding contest, as well as other events.

UoG Unplugged Society playing the event

Bug-eating contest!

The money will be going out to Mankwe this May and will be used to help the anti-poaching unit. Since we visited them there has been many births, as such they need extra money to protect them.

We want to thank everyone who donated money and prizes. If anyone would like to donate there is still time, please email s1302809@connect.glos.ac.uk

Many thanks,

Sarah-Jane Smith, Brad Bignell and Ellie Woolway.

Final year Biology/Animal Biology students

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