Does tooth wear influence ageing? A comparative study across large herbivores

We test whether the intensity of tooth wear influences the strength of actuarial senescence across species of large herbivores. We collected from the literature data on tooth wear in the wild (measured as the slope of the regression of log-transformed M1 crown height on age), longevity (measured as the age at which 90% of individuals […]

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. […]

Collapse of the world’s largest herbivores

Large wild herbivores are crucial to ecosystems and human societies. We highlight the 74 largest terrestrial herbivore species on Earth (body mass>–100 kg), the threats they face, their important and often overlooked ecosystem effects, and the conservation efforts needed to save them and their predators from extinction. Large herbivores are generally facing dramatic population declines […]

Woodland loss and restoration in a savanna park: a 20-year experiment

Woodland loss is a major cause of biodiversity decline in African savanna parks. Decisions about whether remedial steps are possible and warranted depend on the cause. Climate, fire, elephants and human impact, often in combination, have been cited as major causes. The almost complete extinction of woodland in Amboseli National Park since 1950 has been […]

DNA metabarcoding illuminates dietary niche partitioning by African large herbivores

Niche partitioning facilitates species coexistence in a world of limited resources, thereby enriching biodiversity. For decades, biologists have sought to understand how diverse assemblages of large mammalian herbivores (LMH) partition food resources. Several complementary mechanisms have been identified, including differential consumption of grasses versus nongrasses and spatiotemporal stratification in use of different parts of the […]

Delayed effects of fire on habitat use by large herbivores in Acacia drepanolobium savanna

Fire is frequently used as a wildlife management tool in savanna habitats (Trollope, 1982). Burning stimulates sprouting of plants (Vesey-Fitzgerald, 1971), improving forage quality (Komarek, 1967; Dorgeloh, 1999). Several studies have supported quantitatively what has been well known by managers for some time, namely that ungulates are attracted by resprouting vegetation in recently burned areas […]

Vegetation factors influencing density and distribution of wild large herbivores in a southern African savannah

Understanding factors influencing large herbivore densities and distribution in terrestrial ecosystems is a fundamental goal of ecology. This study examined environmental factors influencing the density and distribution of wild large herbivores in Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe. Vegetation and surface water were predicted to have a stronger influence than anthropogenic-related disturbances (livestock grazing, fires, settlements and […]