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Creating water sources at Colchester Zoo's UmPhafa Reserve!

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Access to water is one of the main limiting factors for our wildlife species on UmPhafa, particularly on the western area of our reserve. In recent years, South Africa has been experiencing drought conditions. Rainfall in the South African summer, between October and March, is essential for keeping the dams on UmPhafa full of water for the wildlife to drink, is vital for healthy growth conditions of the vegetation and as an easy access point for our staff to collect water to fight runaway fires.  

Our reserve maintenance team on the reserve have been concentrating on increasing our water sources in a number of areas on the reserve. Using stone and rocks from an old cottage, the team have built a significant wall across an eroded area of landscape to capture the rainwater and water coming from a small local spring. 

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UmPhafa has a wide and diverse range of habitat types, from grassland to bushveld and open woodlands.

Number of species offically recorded on Umphafa

Mammals 50
Birds 240
Reptiles 26
Amphibians 11
Trees & Plants  443