We have had a big change in the behaviour of the monkeys in the last couple of weeks. Due to a blast of rain the monkeys all ran down to the river and began to lick the rocks to gain some much-needed refreshment. As the rain continued to fall small pools began to fill on the roadside and in the river and this left behind enough water for the monkeys to quench their thirst for the last two weeks.
We were amazed at how quickly their behaviours changed. Suddenly, the search for succulents in the veld stopped and they began to relax a bit more. We have seen so much grooming as the monkeys catch up on building up their social relationships again. And the juveniles have been very much enjoying a bit more free time. We have seen so much play over the last week it has been great. As the monkeys are no longer walking long distances up into the veld for food and water they have more time for social behaviour and that means adults grooming and resting and kids playing.
We are now seeing patches of grass and small succulents springing up all over the veld and even some small flowers appearing. It is always amazing how quickly the Karoo regenerates with a small amount of rain. As we move into spring we hope that more rain showers will pass through.
Until next time,
Chloe and the Verveteers
The Vervet Monkey research project is a collaboration between a number of international universities. The project has been based at Samara Private Game Reserve in the Great Karoo since 2008. The aim of the project is to investigate the adaptations of these fascinating monkeys to climatic changes.
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