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Mammal Species Richness at a Catena and Nearby Waterholes during a Drought, Kruger National Park, South Africa

Catenas are undulating hillslopes on a granite geology characterised by different soil types that create an environmental gradient from crest to bottom. The main aim was to determine mammal species (>mongoose) present on one catenal slope and its waterholes and group them by feeding guild and body size. Species richness was highest at waterholes (21 species), followed by midslope (19) and sodic patch (16) on the catena. Small differences observed in species presence between zones and waterholes and between survey

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Anthropogenic Influences on Distance Traveled and Vigilance Behavior and Stress-Related Endocrine Correlates in Free-Roaming Giraffes

Giraffes are an important tourist attraction, and human presence to wildlife is increasing. This has an impact on an animal’s behavior and its endocrine correlates. Studies on other species show alterations in movement patterns, vigilance, and stress-related hormone levels in the presence of humans. Limited information is available on how anthropogenic activities alter giraffe’s behavior, social structure, and related endocrine parameters. The purpose of this study was to obtain insight into anthropogenic influences on giraffe’s behavior and adrenal activity. We

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Reported & Reported: Differences among local and international game hunting data and potential reasons on the example of South Africa

The South African wildlife tourism industry is based on trophy hunting and together with international wildlife trade it can represent a major treat to biodiversity conservation. Annually, thousands of hunters participate in hunting activities in South Africa and thousands of trophy items are traded across international borders. This research is a result of comprehensive quantitative analysis in how far data of trophy hunting kills and data of trophy export are consistent on the example of South Africa. Data were extracted

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Ecology of South African large herbivores in a managed arid savanna: body mass, local distribution, and parasites.

Large herbivores are an important natural resource for humans, but a high proportion of these species are classified as globally endangered. Current declines of these species are mainly caused by unsustainable harvesting and land use loss or conversion. These processes frequently increase herbivore mortality rates, and alter a species’ behaviour and local distributions. Because of their importance, humans frequently attempt to manage large herbivores to assure their sustainable use and effective protection. Nevertheless, these actions usually focus on managing and

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Delayed Post Mortem Predation in Lightning Strike Carcasses: Sense or Nonsense?

An adult giraffe was struck dead by lightning on a game farm outside Phalaborwa, South Africa in March 2014. Interestingly, delayed post-mortem predation occurred on the carcass, which according to the farm owners was an atypical phenomenon for the region. Delayed post-mortem scavenging on lightning strike carcasses has been anecdotally reported from time to time, although no formal studies have confirmed this phenomenon. The purpose of this article is to raise awareness of this phenomenon, with the view of more

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Imagining a ‘pleasant place’: a rock engraving site in the Trans-Gariep Nama Karoo, South Africa

The Keimoes Engraving Site 01 (KES01) north of Keimoes, Northern Cape Province, is a recently documented site with just over 50 recorded instances of rock markings. These comprise engravings of human footprints, animal motifs and smoothed and pecked areas on an outcrop. The KES01 engravings provide an opportunity to investigate the ‘problem of the animals’: the predominance of animal images and their frequent presentation as solitary figures portrayed in a standing posture. This phenomenon has been noted previously but not

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Exploring the Africa-Asia Trade Nexus for Endangered Wildlife Used in Traditional Asian Medicine: Interviews With Traders in South Africa and Vietnam

Many species in Southeast Asia have been over-hunted to supply the demand for Traditional Asian Medicine (TAM) ingredients. As access to their parts become more difficult, consumer’s demand is shifting to novel substitutes. Accurate estimation of the level of illegal wildlife trade is therefore important to ensure long term sustainability. The primary aim of this study is to provide an understanding of the current illegal wildlife trade market for TAM purposes in South Africa. The secondary aim is to explore

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Diet of lions and spotted hyaenas assessed from stomach contents

Analyses of stomach contents was used to assess the diet of lions and spotted hyaenas in the Central District of Kruger National Park. Of 257 lion and 167 spotted hyaena stomachs examined 47,1% and 10,8% respectively, were empty. The relative edible biomass contributed by each prey animal to the diet of lions is given. For spotted hyaenas the relative importance of each prey animal was assessed by considering both frequency of occurrence and the amount found in each stomach. During

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