Original Research

Mammals in the mountains: An historical review and updated checklist of the mammals of the Mountain Zebra National Park

Daniel M. Parker
Koedoe | Vol 63, No 1 | a1683 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v63i1.1683 | © 2021 Daniel M. Parker | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 April 2021 | Published: 12 July 2021

About the author(s)

Daniel M. Parker, School of Biology and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, University of Mpumalanga, Mbombela, South Africa; and Wildlife and Reserve Management Research Group, Department of Zoology and Entomology, Rhodes University, Makhanda, South Africa


Based on published and unpublished records, together with original data collected from regular field trips over a 15-year period, 68 mammal species have been reliably recorded from the Mountain Zebra National Park. I assessed the current status of all mammal species, in relation to park expansion and research effort over time (1937–2020). Although numerous large and charismatic mammal species have been reintroduced to the park since it was gazetted in 1937, both in an attempt to restore the historical diversity of the region and to attract tourists, research effort in the surveying of the smaller and more cryptic mammal species has been sorely lacking. I recommend that future survey work targets the small, mostly fossorial mammals (i.e. golden and rodent moles, elephant shrews and gerbils) and insectivorous bats.

Conservation implications: This work provides critical presence data for several mammal species from an important protected area that straddles three biomes in South Africa.


species richness; biodiversity; surveys; time-series; South Africa; semi-arid.


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