A study of sex/age ratios in wild ungulate populations : an approach to designing an appropriate sampling strategy for estimating the structure of wild ungulate populations on Rooipoort Nature Reserve

Laubscher, Sarah-Jane (2000-03)

Thesis (MSc)--Stellenbosch University, 2000.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis investigates the population structure of a number of ungulate species occurring within Rooipoort private reserve. Specifically the study serves to make estimates of the ratio of males to females and calves to cows within each species population under observation, based on the data collected. Data were also analysed to ascertain the distribution patterns of the species in question, in relation to vegetation type and habitat. Distribution data were additionally compared to distribution data collected at an earlier period on Rooipoort, to determine whether any change has occurred in distribution patterns of the ungulates concerned. Through analysis of both sex/age data and distributional data, one of the main objectives of the study was to determine the most appropriate time of the year, length of time and managment costs involved to undertake sex/age counts on Rooipoort. Results of the study were also compared to existing population models of ungulates on the reserve. Results obtained from data concluded that a single monthly sex/age count or, in some cases, even three consecutive monthly counts, to determine age ratios, would be insufficient to deliver a reliable estimate of population structure. A number of counts would have to be carried out throughout the year in order to make reliable estimates. Distribution data revealed that all habitat/vegetation types on Rooipoort would have to be covered in order to effectively sample all of the species in question.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Gegewens is ook ontleed om die verspreidingspatrone van hoefdiersoorte te bepaal met betrekking tot plantegroeitipe en habitat. Die verspreidingsdata is ook vergelyk met vorige ..studies wat op Rooipoort gedoen is om te. bepaal. of enige. veranderings in die verpreidingspatrone van die hoefdiere onder bespreking plaasgevind het. Een van die hoof doelwitte van die studie was om.. deur ontleding. van beide die geslags/ouderdom data en die verspreidingsdata, die mees geskikte tye van die jaar, die tydsduur en bestuurskoste te bepaal, om geslags/ouderdomstellings op Rooipoort uit te voer. Resultate van die studie is ook met vertroude populasiemodelle op die reservaat vergelyk. Die dataontledings het aangeduidat 'n enkele maandlikse geslags/ouderdoms telling, of, In sekere gevalle, selfs drie agtereenvolgende maandlikse tellings, om ouderdomsverhoudings te bepaal, nie voldoende sal wees om 'n vertroubare beraming van die bevolkings struktuur te maak. n' Aantal tellings moet gedurende die yaar uitgevoer word om vertroubare beramings te kan doen. Verspreidingsdata het bevestig dat alle habitate en plantegroeitipes op Rooipoort bemonster moet word om alle spesie effektief te bemonster.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/51627
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