South Coast sampling by Dr T Nxele
Another interesting earthworm survey at Oribi Gorge took place in December 2023, where sugarcane was one of the sites sampled at Minnehaha and Lynton farms. This project is part of the project that documents earthworms in agroecosystems. Minnehaha and Lynton farms practice conservation agriculture and indigenous earthworms belonging to the family Microchaetidae were found in all sampled sites. The Microchaetus sp. that were found make large casts on the surface of the soil.
Digging out the large earthworms is not easy - most of the time you end up with just tails, as they cut their tails off to quickly escape danger. It was possible to collect full specimens on the surface of the soil after heavy rains, especially in mature sugarcane. Earthworms can consume food twice their body mass and having such large species in your soil is double the benefit.