Vigilance behavior and population density of common large herbivores in a Southern African Savanna

Ndiweni, Thabisile (2015) Vigilance behavior and population density of common large herbivores in a Southern African Savanna.

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The study assessed flight behavioural responses of impala (Aepyceros melampus) and kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) to human disturbance and compared densities of common large herbivores across Gonarezhou National Park (nonconsumptive land use) and the adjacent Malipati Safari Area (consumptive land use) in southeast Zimbabwe. Animal vigilance was measured by flight behaviour and compared in terms of area and group size. Distance sampling method was used to collect data on densities of large herbivores including namely; impala, kudu, zebra (Equus quagga), giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis), waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus), elephant (Loxodonta africana), warthog (Phacochoerus africanus), steenbok (Raphicerus campestris), common duiker (Sylvicapra grimmia) and nyala (Tragelaphus angasii), and in both study sites. The vigilance of impala and kudu were higher in Malipati than Gonarezhou (p < 0.001). Vigilance in impala was not significantly different with increasing animal group sizes in both Gonarezhou and Malipati (p > 0.05). Densities of common large herbivores were marginally different with Gonarezhou having higher animal densities than Malipati (p ≤ 0.05). Our results suggest that hunting is important in triggering increased vigilance behaviour of herbivores as well as influencing animal densities. Thus, it is important to monitor and reduce negative human activities on animal populations in the study area for enhancing tourism activities and conservation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: density,herbivore,hunting,sink,source,vigilance,Gonarezhou,Malipati
Divisions: Universities > State Universities > National University of Science and Technology
Depositing User: Mr. Edmore Sibanda
Date Deposited: 15 May 2017 22:29
Last Modified: 15 May 2017 22:29

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