Baobabs on confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe rivers continue to be vulnerable to the over utilization by elephants. The only way to effectively protect baobabs from elephants is to wrap them in wire mesh. In November 2023 the Baobab Foundation wrapped another 22 baobabs in wire mesh. Over the course of three days another 15 baobabs were protected in Mapungubwe National Park and 7 baobabs on Sentinel Ranch in Zimbabwe.
Meshing baobab near Mapungubwe Hill
In addition to baobabs, elephants use many tree species and the survival of other trees is even more tenuous than that of baobabs. Most trees cannot regrow bark like baobabs do and thus once completely debarked there is no hope of their survival. Thus, it is important to protect a wide range of trees before they are debarked. Meshing these trees is just as important as meshing baobabs and thus the Baobab Foundation allocates some mesh to other trees as well. In Mapungubwe NP we also meshed four Weeping Boer-bean (Scotia brachypetala) trees close to the Mapungubwe Hill. Many of these trees have already been lost and the mesh will help preserve this spiny of trees along this dry river bed.
Scotia brachypetala trees with elephant damage
On Sentinel Ranch a remnant patch of 13 Winterthorn (Fadherbia albida) trees was meshed. These trees are White-backed Vulture nesting sites and hundreds have been lost over the last decade.