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Water sources aggregate parasites, with increasing effects in more arid conditions

Shifts in landscape heterogeneity and climate can influence animal behavior and movement in ways that profoundly alter disease transmission. Amid accelerating climate and land use changes, it is increasingly important to identify and monitor hotspots of increased animal activity and overlap where disease transmission is likely to occur. Water sources that are foci of animal activity have great potential to promote disease transmission, but there has been very little work to quantify this, nor any comparison across a range of

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Woody vegetation change in response to browsing in Ithala Game Reserve, South Africa

The impact of elephant and other browsers may be magnified when they are restricted within small, fenced reserves. These reserves are becoming commonplace in southern Africa. The composition and structure of the woody vegetation of a portion of the 30 000 ha Ithala Game Reserve, South Africa, was monitored annually from 1992 to 2000. Woody species described a continuum from those that declined in abundance and were threatened with extirpation (e.g. Aloe marlothii, Acacia davyi ), through those that remained

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Interspecific interference competition at the resource patch scale: do large herbivores spatially avoid elephants while accessing water?

1. Animals may anticipate and try to avoid, at some costs, physical encounters with other competitors. This may ultimately impact their foraging distribution and intake rates. Such cryptic interference competition is difficult to measure in the field, and extremely little is known at the interspecific level. 2. We tested the hypothesis that smaller species avoid larger ones because of potential costs of interference competition and hence expected them to segregate from larger competitors at the scale of a resource patch.

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Addressing management questions for Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania, using the Savanna modelling system

Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA), in northern Tanzania, is a multiple-use area of importance to Maasai pastoralists and wildlife conservation. We adapted the SAVANNA modelling system to the NCA, creating an Integrated Management and Assessment System that allows users to assess responses to alternative management actions. We used the system to conduct fifteen experiments reflecting potential management questions. Results suggest that: the distribution of rainfall throughout the year may have a greater impact on the ecosystem than its quantity; cattle may

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