Original Research

Activity patterns of African buffalo Syncerus caffer in the Lower Sabie Region, Kruger National Park, South Africa

S.J. Ryan, W. Jordaan
Koedoe | Vol 48, No 2 | a98 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v48i2.98 | © 2005 S.J. Ryan, W. Jordaan | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 December 2005 | Published: 18 December 2005

About the author(s)

S.J. Ryan, University of California at Berkeley, United States
W. Jordaan, Conservation Services, South Africa

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Abstract

The activity budgets of three herds of African buffalo in the Lower Sabie region of Kruger National Park, recorded between 1991 and 1992 were quantified to examine both nocturnal and seasonal effects on feeding activity and 24-hr movement in an area of dense bushveld. We found that the average 24-hr distance traveled by herds (3.35 km) was shorter than that found in other studies and that there was no seasonal effect on this distance, which we attribute to ready availability of water in both seasons. We found that the buffalo spent a similar amount of time feeding (9.5 hrs) as in other studies, but that the proportional feeding and resting time was influenced by the time of day and the season. These herds spent proportionally more time feeding at night (44.5 % vs 32.0 %) and more time resting in the day (28.4 % vs 16.0 %). In addition, they appeared to rest more during the day and feed more at night during the wet season, when it was hotter.

Keywords

African buffalo; Syncerus caffer; activity budgets; Kruger National Park.

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