Original Research

A simple index of habitat suitability for Cape mountain zebras

P. Novellie, A. Winkle
Koedoe | Vol 36, No 2 | a374 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v36i2.374 | © 1993 P. Novellie, A. Winkle | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 September 1993 | Published: 17 September 1993

About the author(s)

P. Novellie, National Parks Board, South Africa
A. Winkle, National Parks Board, South Africa

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Abstract

An index of habitat suitability for Cape mountain zebras was calculated using two parameters: acceptability indices for different grass species, and the aerial cover of the grass species in the habitat. The index was tested by calculating its value for a range of different habitat patches and comparing this with the frequency of use of the patches by zebras. The close relationship between the index and the observed frequency of use verified that the index could be used as a guide to habitat suitability. Two methods were used to determine the frequency of use of the patches: counts of faecal pellet groups and frequency of sightings. Both methods yielded similar results but the pellet group counts were less time- consuming and expensive. It is recommended that the index of habitat suitability be used (i) as a parameter for monitoring of long-term changes in habitat suitability in the Mountain Zebra National Park and (ii) as a guide for selecting appropriate areas to re- introduce mountain zebras.

Keywords

acceptability indices, faecal pellet counts, grazing, monitoring, point surveys, reintroduction.

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Crossref Citations

1. Population viability of Cape mountain zebra in Gamka Mountain Nature Reserve, South Africa: the influence of habitat and fire
Laurence H. Watson, Helena E. Odendaal, Tom J. Barry, Jacques Pietersen
Biological Conservation  vol: 122  issue: 2  first page: 173  year: 2005  
doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2004.06.014