Original Research

Changes in number and distribution of hippoptamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) in the Sabie River, Kruger National Park, during the 1992 drought

P.C. Viljoen
Koedoe | Vol 38, No 2 | a320 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v38i2.320 | © 1995 P.C. Viljoen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 August 1995 | Published: 26 August 1995

About the author(s)

P.C. Viljoen, Kruger National Park, South Africa

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Abstract

The 1991/92 drought in Southern Africa and the effect of the resultant reduced flow of the Sabie River on hippopotami was investigated. Hippopotami are counted annually in the Kruger National Park's (KNP) major rivers as part of the park's monitoring pro- gramme. Two additional aerial surveys were conducted to document changes in hippopotamus population densities in the Sabie River during the drought period. The hippopotamus population decreased during the drought by 12.6 to 672 animals between July 1991 and October 1992. The highest and lowest hippopotamus densities recorded were 11.6 and 2.2 animals/km river length respectively in different river sections. Only 12 hippopotamus mortalities were recorded at the end of the 1992 dry season (October).

Keywords

aerial census, drought, hippopotamus, Kruger National Park, population density

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