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Ecology of impala (Aepyceros melampus) and waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus) in Majete Wildlife Reserve, Malawi

dc.contributor.advisorLeslie, Alisonen_ZA
dc.contributor.authorSpies, Katherine Sarahen_ZA
dc.date.accessioned2017-04-19T12:40:19Z
dc.date.available2017-04-19T12:40:19Z
dc.date.issued2015-12
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/101508
dc.descriptionThesis (MScConsEcol)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.en_ZA
dc.description.abstractENGLISH ABSTRACT: Protected areas in Africa are under increasing pressure as the human population and their associated activities continue to rise. Habitat loss and fragmentation has led to the isolation of wildlife areas, which are commonly fenced to protect biodiversity and to reduce human-wildlife conflicts. As fencing impacts ecological processes, intense management is required to conserve biodiversity and prevent habitat degradation in these areas. Effective management and biodiversity conservation strategies depend on a good understanding of the ecological requirements and characteristics of dominant species. African Parks is an example of an organization that has overcome many challenges to make an extraordinary contribution to conservation in Africa. After the decimation of most mammals by excessive poaching in Majete Wildlife Reserve (MWR), Malawi, the park underwent one of the largest reintroduction programmes on the African continent. Of the 14 species and 2559 animals reintroduced, were 737 impala and 402 waterbuck, both of which are successful breeders and can compete vigorously for resources. Population abundance and density estimates were determined for a 140km2 section of MWR using distance sampling methods on drive counts for 14 consecutive months (2013-2014). The data were analyzed in the software programme DISTANCE. Estimates indicated that post-reintroduction impala and waterbuck populations have increased significantly and displayed a preference for habitats adjacent to the perennial Shire and Mkulumadzi Rivers in the north-east of the reserve. Population control strategies needs to be implemented in the near future to curtail the impacts of habitat overutilization by these two species and other ungulates. An apt understanding of species behaviour in specific areas assists managers to develop management strategies. Baseline ecology for impala and waterbuck were determined using behavioural observations on drive counts, and waterhole counts. Overall, impala and waterbuck had similar ecology to other populations previously studied. However the impala lambing season occurred marginally earlier and waterbuck calving season peaked in May-June i.e. not in March and October as determined by other studies. Furthermore, it was established that impala and waterbuck adult males utilized waterholes more frequently than females. In addition, impala and waterbuck males displayed a preference for waterholes according to surrounding vegetation type. Managers should consider these trends when revising the artificial water point management for the reserve. The foraging behaviour of impala and waterbuck were investigated in more detail. Stable isotope analysis of dung was used to estimate the graze and browse composition in these two ungulates’ diets. It was determined that impala are mixed feeders that readily shift from a high graze content in the wet summer season to relatively high browse content in the dry winter season. Waterbuck were typical grazers that were able to utilize browse species in more stressful environmental conditions. Contrary to a typical dietary overlap occurring in the dry season, impala and waterbuck have a dietary overlap in the wet, summer months when both species have a high graze species content in their diet. MWR management required a better understanding of the ecology of impala and waterbuck post reintroduction to contribute toward management planning. Based on the information gleaned from the various studies conducted, both ungulates have successfully established themselves in MWR and their populations have significantly increased and require intensive management to prevent environmental degradation. Population management strategies should include the translocation of wildlife from MWR to other parks, as part of a national reintroduction programme in Malawi.en_ZA
dc.description.abstractAFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Bewarings gebiede regoor Afrika is toenemend onder druk weens ‘n groeiende menslike bevolking, en hulle aktiwiteite wat lei tot die verlies en opbreek van natuurlike habitat en, dus, die isolasie van wildreservate. Hierdie wildreservate word omhein om konflik tussen mense en wild te verminder, en om biodiversiteit te beskerm. Omdat heinings sekere ekologiese prosesse ontwrig, is bestuursingryping nodig om omgewingsagteruitgang te verhoed. Effektiewe bestuurs- en bewaringsstrategieë is gefundeer op ‘n diepliggende begrip van die ekologiese behoeftes en eienskappe van dominante spesies. African Parks is ‘n organisasie wat etlike uitdagings oorkom het en bygedra het tot natuurbewaring in Afrika. Nadat die meeste wild in Majete Wildreservaat (MWR) in Malawi deur stropers onwettig uitgejag is, is wild in die park hervestig tydens een van die grootste wildhervestigingsprogramme op die Afrika vasteland. Van die 14 spesies en 2559 diere wat hervestig is, was 737 rooibokke en 402 waterbokke. Beide spesies is geweldig kompeterend, en vermeerder maklik om gebruik te maak van beskikbare hulpbronne. Deur gebruik te maak van afstandsmetingsmetodes gedurende wildkykritte vir 14 agtereenvolgende maande (2013-2014) is bevolkingsdigthede vir ‘n 140km2 gedeelte van die MWR vir hierdie twee spesies bepaal. Die sagtewareprogram DISTANCE is gebruik om data te analiseer. Beraminge dui daarop dat rooibok en waterbok bevolkings beduidend toegeneem het, en dat hulle die area langs die standhoudende Shire en Mkulumadziriviere in die noordoostelike gedeelte van die reservaat verkies. Daar word aanbeveel dat hulle getalle binnekort beheer word om te verhoed dat hulle impak die beskikbare habitat nadelig beïnvloed. ‘n Gedetaileerde begrip van wild se gedragspatrone in sekere areas word benodig om bestuursstrategieë te ontwikkel. Rooibok en waterbok gedrag is aangeteken gedurende wildkykritte, en by watergate . Oor die algemeen tree rooibokke en waterbokke soos hulle eweknieë in ander studies op. Rooibokke lam egter effens vroeër, en waterbokke se kalfseisoen bereik hulle piek van Mei tot Julie m.a.w. nie in Maart en Oktober soos in vorige studies nie. Boonop het ons bevind dat volwasse rooibokramme en waterbokbulle watergate baie meer gereeld as rooibokeeue en waterbokkoeie besoek. Rooibokramme en waterbokbulle se voorkeur vir sekere watergate het afgehang van die omringende plantegroei. Bestuurders behoort hierdie tendense in ag te neem wanneer hulle kunsmatige watergate se posisionering in die toekoms hersien. Weidingsgedrag van rooibokke en waterbokke is ook in meer besonderhede oorweeg. Stabiele isotope van mismonsters is geanaliseer om te bepaal hoeveel grasse en bossies in hulle dieët voorkom. Daar is vasgestel dat rooibokke ‘n mengsel van grasse en bossies vreet, en gemaklik oorskuif van meer grasse in die nat somerseisoen na meer bossies in die droë winterseisoen. Waterbokke het oorwegend grasse gevreet, maar hulle was daartoe in staat om bossies te vreet tydens ongunstige omgewingstoestande. Anders as in vorige studies het rooibokke en waterbokke se dieët in die nat somersmaande oorvleuel wanneer albei spesies meer gras geëet het. MWR se bestuur het ‘n meer volledige beskrywing benodig van rooibokke en waterbokke se bevolkingsdigthede en gedrag met die doel om die omgewing beter te bestuur. In hierdie studie het ons vasgestel dat beide boksoorte suksesvol hervestig is, dat hulle getalle beduidend toegeneem het, en dat intensiewe bestuurspraktyke binnekort benodig gaan word om omgewingsagteruitgang te voorkom. Ons stel voor dat hulle getalle bestuur kan word deur hulle vanuit MWR na ander parke te skuif in ‘n nasionale hervestigingsprogram vir Malawi.af_ZA
dc.format.extent144 pages : illustrations, mapen_ZA
dc.language.isoen_ZAen_ZA
dc.publisherStellenbosch : Stellenbosch Universityen_ZA
dc.subjectImpala (Aepyceros melampus) -- Malawi -- Majete Wildlife Reserveen_ZA
dc.subjectWaterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus) -- Malawi -- Majete Wildlife Reserveen_ZA
dc.subjectWildlife management -- Malawi -- Majete Wildlife Reserveen_ZA
dc.subjectUCTDen_ZA
dc.titleEcology of impala (Aepyceros melampus) and waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus) in Majete Wildlife Reserve, Malawien_ZA
dc.typeThesisen_ZA
dc.rights.holderStellenbosch Universityen_ZA


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