Original Research

Population fluctuations and breeding of eland Taurotragus oryx in a western Transvaal nature reserve

D. Buys, H.M. Dott
Koedoe | Vol 34, No 1 | a411 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v34i1.411 | © 1991 D. Buys, H.M. Dott | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 September 1991 | Published: 23 September 1991

About the author(s)

D. Buys, University of Pretoria, South Africa
H.M. Dott, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Abstract

The history of an eland population on the S A Lombard Nature Reserve in the western Transvaal is described. From a founder population of four eland in 1950 and 1951, the population grew to about 35 animals and was kept at this level through culling and translocation until 1976. During 1976 and 1977 unusual heavy rains were experienced and culling and removals were temporarily suspended. As a result the population increased unchecked and reached a peak of 81 in 1981. When climatic conditions returned to normal this was followed by a population crash in which 66 eland died over a period of three years. Calves are born throughout the year, but the majority of births occur during the period October to December, with a peak in November. The females have a high calving rate (90,9 ) and calf mortality is low (16,7 ).

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