Possible predictors of sable antelope (Hippotragus niger) decline in Kgaswane Mountain Reserve

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dc.contributor.author Tshenkeng, Phenya Pius
dc.date.accessioned 2018-03-13T08:39:35Z
dc.date.available 2018-03-13T08:39:35Z
dc.date.issued 2017
dc.identifier.citation Tshenkeng, Phenya Pius (2017) Possible predictors of sable antelope (Hippotragus niger) decline in Kgaswane Mountain Reserve, , University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, <http://hdl.handle.net/10539/24174>
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10539/24174
dc.description A dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Science, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters in Science. Johannesburg, September 2017. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract Sable antelope numbers have been declining in protected areas of South Africa and they are listed as Vulnerable in the National Red List Assessment. In Kruger National Park, since 1986, the abundance of sable antelope has declined from 2240 to just under 400 individuals in 2014, making them at risk of local extirpation. The aim of the study was to explore some of the possible explanations, not explored before, for sable antelope (Hippotragus niger) perceived decline in the Kgaswane Mountain Reserve (KMR), in the North-West Province of South Africa. I therefore looked at assessing sable antelope use of space in relation to ‘high risk’ areas as determined by distances to fences, campsites and roads; determining the seasonal variations in the nutritional status of sable antelope; estimating calves recruitment, survival and population sex ratio. To achieve these objectives two sable antelope heifers were collared in the reserve, one from the ‘vlei’ herd and one from the ‘woodland’ herd. Both herds avoided ‘high risk’ areas, especially areas close to camping huts. The herds made little use of areas where there was lots of human movement. I expected the herds to utilise areas close to fences, especially after security burns along the perimeter of the park, but that was not the case as these areas were little utilised. Both herds preferred the tall grassland type of vegetation. As expected both herds utilised burnt areas and the woodland herd used these areas more than the vlei herd. Faecal crude protein and faecal phosphorus values during the dry season were higher compared to a previous study in KMR, which seems to suggest that currently the sable population in KMR is doing better compared to 2002-2003. Since 2011 until 2014, there were a total of 34 calves born with 15 missing after the study but only one mortality recorded. Therefore the reasons for the missing calves are still unclear. The best way to monitor survival of populations for long term studies would be to mark individuals in a population but unfortunately this was impossible for this study. I expected more females to be born as compared to males and this was not the case as there were more males (20) born than females (14), further indicating that potentially currently the population is doing better than in the past. en_ZA
dc.format.extent Online resource (xiv, 86 pages)
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.subject.lcsh Sable antelope--South Africa--Kgaswane Mountain Reserve
dc.subject.lcsh Sable antelope--Ecology
dc.subject.lcsh Endangered species--Feeding and feeds
dc.title Possible predictors of sable antelope (Hippotragus niger) decline in Kgaswane Mountain Reserve en_ZA
dc.type Thesis en_ZA
dc.description.librarian MT2018 en_ZA

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