Models of Bontebok (Damaliscus pygargus pygargus, Pallas 1766) habitat preferences in the Bontebok National Park and sustainable stocking rates

Luyt, Eustatius du Chavoux (2005-12)

Thesis (MSc)--University of Stellenbosch, 2005.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:This study concentrates on the Bontebok (Damaliscus pygargus pygargus Pallas 1766) population of the Bontebok National Park. Using a combination of literature research, field observations, satellite imagery, Geographic Information System mapping and dung analysis, their habitat preferences within the Park are ascertained and compared to different behavioural and environmental factors. Considering vegetation composition and height, grass cover, burning history, general topography, water availability, actual diet quality (from faecal analysis) and population distribution, the best predictor of spatial pattern are investigated with GIS Dempster-Shafer models. The historical density distribution of the animals in the Park can be used to predict sustainable stocking rates. As far as possible, the results for the Bontebok are compared to those of the other larger herbivores in Bontebok National Park i.e. Red Hartebeest, Cape Mountain Zebra and Grey Rhebuck. These results should be useful for Wildlife Managers to know how to manage veld for Bontebok and at what stocking rates this can be done sustainably.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie fokus op die Bontebok (Damaliscus pygargus pygargus, Pallas 1766) bevolking van die Bontebok Nasionale Park. Deur ‘n kombinasie van literatuurstudie, veldobservasies, satlietbeelde, Geografiese Inligtingstelsel (GIS) kartering en mis-analise te gebruik, word Bontebok habitatvoorkeure in die Park vasgestel en met verskillende gedrags- en omgewingsfaktore vergelyk. Deur te kyk na plantegroei-samestelling en hoogte, grasbedekking, brandgeskiedenis, algemene topografie, water-beskikbaarheid, diëet kwaliteit en die Bontebokke se waargenome ruimtelike verspreiding, word die faktor wat die verspreidingspatroon die beste voorspel, m.b.v. GIS Dempster-Shafer modelle ondersoek. Die historiese digtheidsverspreiding van diere in die Park word gebruik om volhoubare veldladings te voorspel. Sover moontlik word die resultate vir Bontebok vergelyk.met die ander groter herbivore in die Bontebok Nasionale Park, te wete Rooi Hartebees, Kaapse Bergsebra en Vaalribbok. Hierdie resultate behoort vir Natuurlewe-bestuurders tot nut te wees as riglyne vir veldbestuur en volhoubare veldladings van Bontebok.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/21218
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