Original Research

Landscape preference of the white rhinoceros in the central and northern Kruger National Park

D.J. Pienaar, J. du P. Bothma, G.K. Theron
Koedoe | Vol 36, No 1 | a364 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v36i1.364 | © 1993 D.J. Pienaar, J. du P. Bothma, G.K. Theron | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 September 1993 | Published: 16 September 1993

About the author(s)

D.J. Pienaar, University of Pretoria, South Africa
J. du P. Bothma, University of Pretoria, South Africa
G.K. Theron, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Abstract

The long-term landscape preferences of the white rhinoceros for 32 different landscapes in the central and northern Kruger National Park are investigated. A preference index and a chi-square test are used to ascertain if white rhinoceroses prefer or avoid a particular landscape as habitat. Landscapes 13 (Karoo Sediment Plains with Acacia welwitschii Tree Savanna) and 11 (Slightly Undulating Granitoid Plains with Colophospermum mopane Bush Savanna), are the most preferred landscapes. Landscapes 23 (Basaltic Plains with Colophospermum mopane Shrub Savanna), 25 (Moderately Undulating Gabbroic Plains with Colophospermum mopane Shrub Savanna), 26 (Irregular Calsitic Plains with Colophospermum mopane Shrub Savanna), 28 (Alluvial Plains with Acacia albida Tree Savanna), 32 (Recent Sandy Plains with Baphia massaiensis Bush Savanna) and 33 (Slightly Undulating Andesitic Plains with Comhretum collinum Shrub Savanna) appear to be avoided. Characterestics of the preferred landscapes are: moderate to dense grass cover with good quality grasses; open to moderate low-shrub (<2 m) stratum; a moderate tree stratum; an undulating topography with uplands, bottomlands and watercourses; sandy soils with few stones and rocks on the soil surface; permanent water sources.

Keywords

Ceratotherium simum simum, white rhinoceros, landscape preference, habitat preference, tree savanna, shrub savanna.

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