Original Research

Features of habitat selection by larger herbivorous mammals and the Ostrich in the Southern Kalahari conservation areas

P. T van der Walt, P. F Retief, E. A. N LE Riche, M. G. L Mills, G de Graaff
Koedoe | Supplement | a573 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v27i2.573 | © 1984 P. T van der Walt, P. F Retief, E. A. N LE Riche, M. G. L Mills, G de Graaff | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 December 1984 | Published: 01 December 1984

About the author(s)

P. T van der Walt, National Parks Board of Trustees, South Africa
P. F Retief, National Parks Board of Trustees, South Africa
E. A. N LE Riche, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park, South Africa
M. G. L Mills, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park, South Africa
G de Graaff, National Parks Board of Trustees, South Africa

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Abstract

A Chi-squares contingency table was used to extensively analise animal/habitat interactions in the southern Kalahari conservation areas between 1978 and 1982. The effect of changing environmental con-
ditions on the distribution of five large mammalian species (eland Taurotragus oryx, gemsbok Oryx gazella, blue wildebeest Connochaetes taurinus, red hartebeest Alcelaphus buselaphus, springbok Antidorcas marsupialis) and the ostrich Struthio camelus is indicated by definite seasonal preferences. A general habitat-use pattern, whereby each habitat type was utilised at some stage during the year by one or more species, as well as a response by the different species to other environmental attributes was found revealing an ecological balance which will be maintained only if the present physical size of the conservation areas in question is maintained indefinitely.

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