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Detection probabilities of ungulates in the eastern Swaziland lowveld

The management of large ungulates in Southern Africa necessitates reliable monitoring programmes to direct management action. Monitoring programmes for large ungulates typically rely on spotlight survey methods, but do not address variation in detection rates between surveys or observers. In 2009, we used a multiple observer survey technique to estimate detection probabilities for large ungulates in lowveld savanna habitats in Swaziland. Spotlight detection probabilities for all ungulates ranged between 0.22 and 0.57. Species-specific spotlight detection rates for the two most

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Conservation genetics of an isolated giraffe population in Swaziland

Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) are a critical component of the savannah’s browsing guild (Birkett, 2002), although their distribution is discontinuous and the species has declined over most of the range (Fennessy, 2008). Often confined to protected areas, management of the giraffes has increasingly focused on maintaining small, closed populations including private lands or conservation areas (Brenneman et al., 2009b). The mating system and social structure of giraffe evolved in large, continuous savannah habitats. Females may only be sexually receptive for a

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The relationship between physical injury, body condition and stress-related hormone concentrations in freeranging giraffes

A physiological stress response can be triggered by a variety of intrinsic and extrinsic stimuli, but minimal information is available about the physiological stress response related to pain in wildlife. Recently established techniques now allow the non-invasive measurement of faecal glucocorticoid metabolite (fGCM) concentrations to monitor the physiological stress response in giraffe. We examined the consequences of injury of various severities and loss of body condition in relation to glucocorticoid output in free-ranging giraffes. Body condition (BC) was visually estimated

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