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Habitat partitioning by ungulates on a game ranch in the Mopani veld

Large herbivores display varying degrees of habitat selectivity and thus exhibit a heterogeneous distribution. This study investigated the spatial and temporal distribution of Burchells zebra Equus burchelli, blue wildebeest Connochaetes taurinus, eland Taurotragus oryx, gemsbok Oryx gazella, giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis, impala Aepyceros melampus, kudu Tragelaphus strepsiceros, and warthog Phacochoerus aethiopicus, on the Messina Experimental Farm. The sighting frequency of the ungulates, expressed as distance covered by vehicle, divided by the number of individuals of a species recorded, is presented for

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Two quantitative methods of analysing ungulate habitat data

Ungulate habitat data for 10 ungulate types that use the grasslands of Jack Scott Nature Reserve were quantitatively analysed using simultaneous confidence intervals and detrended correspondence analysis. The first method is hypothesis-testing whereas the second method is hypothesis-generating. The two methods complemented each other and both revealed the same major habitat selection patterns.

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The Isotopic Ecology of East African Mammals

The stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios of bone collagen have been used to trace diet and habitat selection of the larger mammals of East Africa. 238 individuals of 43 species from montane forests and grasslands in Kenya and Tanzania have been analyzed. The results show that carbon isotopes discriminate between (1) grazers and browsers in savanna grasslands, (2) forest floor and savanna grassland herbivores and (3) forest floor and forest canopy species. Nitrogen isotopes discriminate between (4) carnivores and

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Edge effects and large mammal distributions in a national park

While protected areas are a centrepiece of conservation, populations of animals in protected areas can still be subject to considerable human influence. Conservation theory suggests that many species should live at lower densities at the periphery of protected areas compared with the core area. Similarly, but more specifically, species subject to exploitation are expected to have lower densities in areas close to human settlements compared with more remote areas. Drawing upon distributional data of eight large African herbivore species (buffalo

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Evolutionary Ecology of Giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) in Etosha National Park, Namibia

The giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) occupies a variety of habitats across sub-Saharan Africa. It is characterised by a loose social organisation, and a dominance driven polygynous mating system. This project sought to explain biogeographic and inter-sexual variation in pelage colouration in the context of natural and sexual selection. I also sought to test the hypothesis that in a semi-arid environment, limited resources (food and water) would predictably concentrate females, increasing the potential for dominant males to monopolise matings. I analysed photos

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Minimizing predation risk in a landscape of multiple predators: effects on the spatial distribution of African ungulates

Studies that focus on single predator–prey interactions can be inadequate for understanding antipredator responses in multi-predator systems. Yet there is still a general lack of information about the strategies of prey to minimize predation risk from multiple predators at the landscape level. Here we examined the distribution of seven African ungulate species in the fenced Karongwe Game Reserve (KGR), South Africa, as a function of predation risk from all large carnivore species (lion, leopard, cheetah, African wild dog, and spotted

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Sexual segregation by Masai giraffes at two spatial scales

In this paper alternative explanations for observed patterns of sexual segregation by giraffes are examined at two spatial scales: within-habitats and within-landscape. Habitats are defined as recognizable plant associations and the landscape as the collection of all available habitat types. The study was conducted in Mikumi National Park, Tanzania. At the within-landscape level, all sex and age classes of giraffes exhibited high degrees of preference for riverine habitats. Sex differences in habitat selection were mostly due to females with young,

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Identifying conservation constraints for the last West African giraffe: population dynamics determining factors and spatial distribution pattern

One of the main challenges for endangered species protection in Africa is to find a sustainable way of integrating objectives of nature conservation with the economic development needs of the local human population. Last West African giraffe population, Giraffa camelopardalis peralta, lives in Niger. These giraffe are unique for several reasons: (i) they represent the only population of peralta sub-species, and (ii) they live in an area densely populated by humans, (iii) which is unprotected and (iv) without predators. In

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