Nature Night 2016

Last Friday January 29th, 2016, we hosted our annual public lecture evening, Nature Night! We started Nature Night in 2014 as a way to share our scientific findings and other local researchers’ work with the community. The evening has always proved to be very popular and this year was no exception. We had a great turn out with 87 people attending. It was fantastic to see so many students from local schools and universities in attendance and getting excited about conservation.

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The PPP Community Engagement Officer, Philip Faure, planned this year’s event and welcomed the guests.

Results from the PPP’s brown hyaena research was featured. At the end of the evening local people came to chat to the speaker, Katy Williams, about their experiences with brown hyaenas and ideas for getting involved with our project.

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Katy Williams answers questions about her PhD research on brown hyaenas.

Two guest speakers from the University of Venda presented findings from their research. All the evening’s talks were about species that are generally a bit unpopular (hyaenas, spiders and bats) so it was great to change opinions and help members of the public become more interested in these species.

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Professor Peter Taylor discusses local bats.

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Dr Stefan Foord spoke about the high spider diversity in the Soutpansberg Mountains.

The PPP research assistants did a great job manning the snack and drink stands, selling PPP merchandise, and taking photos. Thanks to Zach Mason for all the photos featured.

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Thanks to Schoemansdal EEC for providing the venue and to the guest speakers from the University of Venda for sharing their work. We look forward to doing it again next year.

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