Nkosinathi M. Ntuli

Background

Tree rub

I completed an undergraduate degree in Zoology and Environmental Management and a BSc Honours in Zoology at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). I am a former representative of the Centre for Ecological Genomics and Wildlife Conservation where I completed my honours project in 2017 based on molecular identification of ectoparasite diversity on two mole-rat species (Georychus capensis and Cryptomys hottentotus). I am currently a second year MSc student representing the Centre for African Conservation Ecology (ACE) at NMU and funded by DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology (C·I·B).

Current research

Elansburg - NR Camera trap

Research focusing on wild boar - feral pig (Sus scrofa) as an agent of disturbance. A widely distributed and reproductively prolific large mammal globally that is native to Eurasia and North Africa. Introduced in South Africa deliberately in several pine plantations as a biocontrol agent against pine emperor moths Imbracia cytheria, subsequently for agriculture, sustenance or interbreeding. Listed as a Category 1b invader, free-ranging and previously captive-bred escapes are a cause of concern as threats to biodiversity. S. Scrofa was implicated to prey on the endangered Geometric tortoise Psammobates Geometricus. In countries such as Australia and the United States where S. scrofa has been problematic for decades, techniques such as aerial surveillance (drones), hunting (aerial, ground, with/without dogs), Judas pigs (GPS collared pigs), toxicants (warfarin, sodium nitrite, 1080), castration, and trapping have been implemented. Hunting and trapping are popular and generally acceptable at Western Cape where most problematic populations have been reported. Perceptions of various stakeholders (farmers, conservation managers, citizen scientists) on impacts, management and potential future affairs of S. scrofa in their areas are assessed using a survey questionnaire. I am also assessing whether nutrition is a restricting component using proximate diet quality analysis of faeces.

Elandsburg NR - Feral pig den, Riebeek Kasteel Mountain
Arc En Ciel - Rooting