area) representing ca. 27 % of the GNP, which was colonized by a few herder families along with their cattle in the year 2000. We hypothesized that (1) human and livestock encroachment in the park would lead to decline in densities of native ungulates, and (2) wild ungulates would avoid habitats influenced by humans. The results show that cattle densities significantly increased after the year 2000 whereas the densities of the native ungulates did not differ significantly after 2000. The ‘no change’ situation in herbivore populations is attributed to strict anti-poaching measures and restriction of human activities within small portion (4 %) of the park. However, the aerial survey does suggest that human and livestock presence in the northern GNP did influence the distribution of wild ungulates. Repeat observations during various seasons would be necessary to understand the spatio-temporal segregation among cattle and wild ungulates.
We investigated the long-term effects of fi re frequency on Colophospermum mopane and Combretum
apiculatum woodland structure and composition in northernGonarezhouNationalPark (GNP),
Zimbabwe. Fire frequency was categorised as high (every 1–2 years), medium (every 3–4 years) and low (every 5–6 years). The following variables were measured or recorded: plant height, species name, canopy depth and diameter, basal circumference, number of stems per plant, plant status (dead or alive) and number of woody plants in a plot. There was a positive correlation (r = 0.55, P = 0.0007) between annual area burnt (total from January to December) and annual rainfall (average over two rain stations per rain year, July to June) between 1972 and 2005. A total of 64 woody species were recorded from C. mopane and C. apiculatum woodlands. Mean plant height increased from 4.5 to 8.2 meters in C. mopane woodland and from 4.5 to 5.1 meters in C. apiculatum woodland in areas subjected to high and low fi re frequencies. In C. mopane woodland, low fi re frequency was characterised by a signifi cantly low density of woody plants (P < 0.001), however, with a signifi cantly high mean basal area (P < 0.001). Fire frequency had no signifi cant effect on species diversity (P > 0.05). Our results suggest that C. mopane and C. apiculatum woodlands are in a state of structural transformation. Fire frequency effects, however, appear to be woodland specifi c. Fire management strategies in GNP should take into consideration annual rainfall and the different vegetation types.
Illegal hunting of wildlife is a major issue in today’s society, particularly in tropical ecosystems. In this study, a total of 114 local residents from eight villages located in four wards adjacent to the northernGonarezhouNationalPark, south-eastern Zimbabwe were interviewed in 2009, using semi-structured questionnaires. The study aimed to answer the following questions: (i) what is the prevalence of illegal hunting and what are commonly used hunting methods? (ii) Which wild animal species are commonly hunted illegally? (iii) What are the main reasons for illegal hunting? (iv) What strategies or mechanisms are currently in place to minimize illegal hunting? Overall, 59% of the respondents reported that they saw bushmeat, meat derived from wild animals, and/or wild animal products being sold at least once every six months, whereas 41% of the respondents reported that they had never seen bushmeat and/or wild animal products being sold in their villages and/or wards. About 18% of the respondents perceived that illegal hunting had increased between 2000 and 2008, whereas 62% of the respondents perceived that illegal hunting had declined, and 20% perceived that it remained the same. Snaring (79%) and hunting with dogs (53%) were reportedly the most common hunting methods. A total of 24 wild animal species were reportedly hunted, with African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) (18%), Burchell’s zebra (Equus quagga) (21%), kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) (25%) and impala (Aepyceros melampus) (27%) amongst the most targeted and preferred animal species. In addition, large carnivores, including spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta) (11%), leopard (Panthera
sustainable animal species conservation and management in tropical ecosystems . Most of the emphasis in understanding local people’s knowledge and perceptions has focused on the conflicts between people and protected areas, such as loss of traditional extraction access or damage by wildlife to crops and livestock [20-24]. It is therefore essential, from both a scientific and conservationist perspective, to understand local people's knowledge and perceptions in order to allow for comprehensive wildlife conservation and management . However, studies presenting cases using local knowledge in understanding animal species abundances and trends are few [e.g. 10, 13, 19, 25, 26]. Therefore, this study examined the LEK held by local people bordering the northernGonarezhouNationalPark (GNP), Zimbabwe, concerning domestic and wild animal species abundances and perceived population trends, in order to evaluate the possible contribution of LEK to wildlife conservation and management. The objectives of this study were to: (i) document the local knowledge and perceptions related to domestic and wild animal abundances, and (ii) determine the reasons and/or explanations for the perceived animal abundances and qualitative population trends. In addition, a comparison of the collected LEK on qualitative animal population trends for the GNP ecosystem was made using scientific information from previous studies.
Wildlife reintroduction regulations require feasibility assessment to inform planning. The study aims to contribute to the existing knowledge on northernGonarezhouNationalPark (GNP), southeastern Zimbabwe, prior to the black rhino re-introduction project. The study objective was to assess browse availability and suitability for black rhino re-introduction in northern GNP. We stratified the study area into two strata, i.e. north and south of Runde River in GNP. A total of 96 sample plots measuring 20 m × 30 m (i.e., 48 plots in each study stratum) were randomly placed across the study strata, between March and April 2011. Woody plant variables recorded are: shrub height, shrub canopy diameters, evidence of browsing on woody plants, number of shrubs and woody species. Principal browse frequency of occurrence and proportional quality of woody species were categorized and analyzed in com- bination with knowledge on the woody species’ value to black rhino diet. Preferred woody species were determined using browse suitability/electivity index. A total of 3201 woody plants were recorded across the study strata. Woody species diversity and black rhino’s browse suitability/electivity value significantly (p = 0.001) differed across the study strata. However, there were no significant differences in shrub density, shrub canopy volume and density of browsed plants. Common principal forages were recorded and included: knob thorn Acacia (Acacia nigrescens), small-leaved sickle-bush (Dichrostachys cineria) and tamboti (Spirostachys africana). The study suggested that black
ABSTRACT. Human-wildlife conflicts are a global problem, and are occurring in many countries where human and wildlife requirements overlap. Conflicts are particularly common near protected areas where societal unrest is large. To ease conflict, integrated conservation and development projects (ICDPs) have been implemented. The Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) is an example of an ICDP. We hypothesized that (i) a higher perceived effectiveness of CAMPFIRE would be associated with a decline in human-wildlife conflicts, and (ii) local communities with higher perceived effectiveness of CAMPFIRE programs would have more favorable attitudes towards problematic wild animals. Four focus group discussions and interviews with 236 respondents were conducted in four local communities adjacent to northernGonarezhouNationalPark, Zimbabwe from December 2010 to August 2011. Moreover, we included data on recorded incidences of human-wildlife conflicts and CAMPFIRE financial returns to study communities between 2000 and 2010. Our results indicate that local communities showed considerable differences in how CAMPFIRE effectiveness was perceived. Local communities with higher ratings of CAMPFIRE effectiveness generally perceived a decline in human-wildlife conflicts, although some people had experienced problems with wild animals. Attitudes towards main problematic wild animals varied across the study communities and were partly associated with perceived CAMPFIRE effectiveness. Our findings partly support both of our study hypotheses. Contextual factors across the four local communities seemed to influence the perceived effectiveness of CAMPFIRE programs and attitudes towards problematic wildlife species. We recommend that decisions and actions regarding the control of problem animals be devolved to the community level in order to help reduce human-wildlife conflicts in community-based natural resources management programs.
exhibited on basalt (Pringle et al., 2010). Because of the general uniformity of the basalt landscape, the probability of mounds occupying at any point in space is high. Although topography is an important factor influencing the distribution of mounds (Davies et al., 2014a), in this extreme semi-arid savanna system, topography may not have an effect on the distribution of termites because even low lying areas are occupied by mounds due to low risk of water inundation (Levick et al., 2010). Furthermore, mounds occupied a much larger proportion of the landscape on granite (6%) relative to basalt (0.4%) showing that at the landscape scale, mounds on nutrient-poor geologies could have a significant effect on vegetation heterogeneity (Chapter 4). Due to the snapshot nature of this study, causes of patterns observed were mostly inferential; future studies should establish experiments where mechanisms can be determined. Ecological patterns are not static, but rather dynamic over time, hence I suggest the establishment of permanent plots where periodic assessments of recruitment of new mounds can be undertaken to better understand termite mound dynamics and inform direction for the conservation of termites and the important ecosystem roles they perform. Also, genetic tests of large and budded colonies can be carried out. Although the ecology of Macrotermes species is similar, further studies on the spatial distribution of mounds should seek to identify all the mounds to the level of the termite species, in order to establish mechanisms leading to the observed patterns. It is not only the termite species that need to be considered in ecosystem management and conservation, but also the mounds that they build because these can last for centuries, with several recolonisations, and thereby improve ecosystem heterogeneity and function.
In protected areas such as GonarezhouNationalPark (GNP), southeast Zimbabwe, large herbivores and fires have a significant negative impact on vegetation structure and composition thereby threatening local extirpation of some plant species (O’Connor et al., 2007). Marula is one of the heavily utilized tree species facing pressure from elephants and humans in savanna ecosystems (Helm & Witkowski, 2013). Gadd (2002) asserts that the marula species has poor regeneration and recruitment ability which is mainly attributed to overutilization. With the increasing human and largeherbivore populations in southeast lowveld of Zimbabwe, the survival of the marula species is a cause of concern mostly due to overutilization. Elsewhere, in South Africa, the marula species is regarded as a keystone species, hence, this contributes towards its conservation (Shackleton et al., 2007). To date, little is known about the population density and structure of the marula species in the south eastern lowveld of Zimbabwe. Therefore, the present study provides a baseline assessment of the marula species in GNP and adjacent areas. The objective of this study was to assess the population density and structure of marula (Sclerocarya birrea) in the northwestern GNP and adjacent areas.
conservation and development in the rural communities of Southern Africa (Chiutsi, Mukoroverwa, Karigambe, & Mudzengi, 2011).
This study showed that the southern GNP apparently has some opportunities for wildlife viewing particularly along the tourist roads. This is in support of recent findings in GNP which suggest that populations of several largeherbivore species are increasing (Dunham, van der Westhuizen, van der Westhuizen, & Gandiwa, 2010; Zisadza, et. al., 2010). It is however, possible with high levels of visitation and usage of the roads for wildlife viewing, it may result in some disturbance along the road to levels that would affect the wildlife species, hence the importance of continued monitoring of the park usage. Monitoring human impacts on wildlife however, can be challenging, since wildlife are mobile and engage in learned behaviour (e.g., Anderson, et al., 2010). There is need in the future to develop carrying capacities of the roads to ensure good wildlife viewing opportunities are always maintained for the park’s visitors. Park managers must continue to be attentive to these and other changes in human activity along the park roads. Additionally, park managers in GNP should manage the park to allow for the persistence of wildlife and maintenance of species diversity. Largeherbivore represents the feature of PAs most important to tourists, and these species play a key role in attracting the bulk of visitors to parks (Lindsey, et al., 2007). Future studies should focus on wildlife abundance, distribution and behaviour along the park’s major tourist roads in the GNP.
Land-use patterns and their influence on the vegetation of the GonarezhouNationalPark Direct human disturbances to the vegetation have resulted through clearing for agriculture and bush clearing for the control of tsetse fly. Prior to declaration as a park, resident communities cultivated scattered fields on alluvial deposits along parts of the lower Runde River and in the vicinity of the Save-Runde junction. More recently, there has been extensive settlement and cultivation within the northern basalt plain in association with the Gulugi drainage (Dunham et al . 2010). Moreover, the bulk of the vegetation throughout the Park is highly degraded. There has been a massive reduction of trees, with upper canopy trees, in particular, having been virtually eliminated or greatly reduced over large areas, as documented in specific studies focused on Brachystegia tamarindoides (Tafangenyasha 1997, 2001), Colophospermum mopane and Combretum apiculatum in the northern part of the Park (Gandiwa & Kativu 2009), and Androstachys johnsonii and Acacia tortilis (Gandiwa et al. 2011a, 2011b). Many of the remaining large trees have serious bark damage and/or have been reduced to the level of the sub- canopy or even the shrub layer, while many of the younger trees are multi-trunked from having been knocked or burned down to ground level, probably repeatedly, and then resprouted. In many stands, relatively high numbers of dead trees were observed. Despite high levels of degradation of vegetation resources, the physical environment has remained relatively intact, with only localised occurrences of sheet and gully erosion, presumably because most of the terrain is virtually flat or gently undulating.
Abstract. Since 2002 Kruger NationalPark (KNP) has subjected to a commer-
cialisation strategy. Regarding income generation, SANParks (1) sees KNP as the goose that lays the golden eggs. As part of SANParks’ commercialisation strate- gy and in response to providing services that are efficient, predictable and calcu- lable for a large number of tourists, SANParks has allowed well-known branded restaurants to be established in certain rest camps in KNP. This innovation has raised a range of different concerns and opinions among the public. This paper in- vestigates the what and the where of casual dining experiences in KNP; describes how the catering services have evolved over the last 70 years; and evaluates cur- rent visitor perceptions of the introduction of franchised restaurants in the park. The main research instrument was a questionnaire survey. Survey findings con- firmed that restaurant managers, park managers and visitors recognise franchised restaurants as positive contributors to the unique KNP experience. Park manag- ers appraised the franchised restaurants as mechanisms for funding conservation.
In this study we wanted to relate fluctuations in AGIs of Cassiope to variation in local and regional climate variables and then analyze how these variables contributed to the spatial scaling of the synchrony in growth. If environmental variables are able to synchronise plant growth over large distances, these variables may also be important in explaining synchrony in herbivore populations. However, we found no single environmental variable explaining a significant proportion of the observed synchrony in growth of Cassiope (Tab. 2). After accounting for average temperature in July-August, a large fraction the synchrony in plant growth was still unexplained (Fig. 4), thus there are probably other synchronizing factors, some of which could be unmeasured autocorrelated environmental variables. We did not have any sampling localities at intermediate distances (42 – 102 km), and only two localities sampled at distances >102 km from other sampling localities (Fig. 1). The growth characteristics of these plants will hence affect the scaling of the synchrony. However, we have no reason to assume that these plants not are representative for this area, or that this area has a climate very different from what we should expect relative to the climate of the central area. Even though AO-June was able to explain local growth (Tab. 1) it was not the primary cause of the observed synchrony. This can be due to differences in how large scales indices such as AO translates into local conditions as shown by Mysterud et al. (2001), i.e. a high AO may result in snowfall at high elevation while the precipitation falls as rain at sea level. A similar pattern as was found in this study was found in Norwegian roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) populations where the NAO was positively related to population growth rates in 94.7% of the populations but did not significantly affect the pattern of synchrony among populations (Grøtan et al. 2005; but see Hallett et al. 2004).
In Fig. 1, we see the results simulation for different values of a for system (1). This figure shows the limit cycles of herbivore and plant. When the parameter a increase, this asymptotically stable equilibrium loses its stability and rise to an invariant closed curve. The dynamics of the invariant curve include periodic and quasi-periodic orbits. Even- tually, the invariant curve loses its smoothness and breaks up into a chaotic attractor .
on its significance in the management of wild animals and protected areas in general. In particular, wildlife managers tend to agree that growing human pop- ulation, increasing food demand, human settlements and habitat disturbances resulting from anthropogenic developments and resource exploitation are major factors in habitat destruction and declining animal populations . A clear un- derstanding of animal habitat-relationship is therefore, essential for effective protected area management. Since South Luangwa NationalPark is considered to be among the most critical areas to wildlife conservation in the country due to its high diversity and abundance of species, it was inevitable to carry out this study in order to improve research and monitoring of the wildlife habitat. The main objectives of the study were to: 1) determine species distribution, abun- dance and habitat selection, 2) identify habitats that were most significant for selected large mammals in the area, and 3) explain the relationship between large mammals and their habitats and further bring this information to planners and managers to stimulate debate in habitat and wildlife conservation.
Distribution of elephant impact varied depending on the type of utilization and on the scale considered. At a broad scale, debarking decreased with distance from the Chobe River (Figure 3-3A), aligning with piosphere predictions. Branch herbivory also initially decreased with distance, confirming findings from previous studies (e.g., Mosugelo et al., 2002), as well as piosphere effect predictions (Figure 3-3B). It is interesting to note, however, that after this initial decrease, mean branch utilization increased again. In fact, if the highly utilized sections around the riverfront are removed from analysis, branch herbivory beyond about 4 km correlates strongly to a linear increase with distance from the river (Figure 3-3C). This is in contrast with the piosphere effect, though a recent study in Kruger NationalPark found a similar pattern of increasing tree utilization by elephants with distance from water (Shannon et al., 2008), albeit at smaller spatial scales (up to 4 km from water). They suggested these trends might be explained by tree density, terrain ruggedness, or soil depth. Tree density in Chobe also increased linearly with distance from the Chobe River (Figure 3-1A), but was not correlated with branch herbivory suggesting some other factor is responsible for the apparent deviation from piosphere
Large protected areas are often considered to be as important as population size in reducing extinction risk for large carnivores. However, the effectiveness of protected areas for large carnivore survival has rarely been tested where surrounding areas also provide suitable habitats. Using individual-based long- term data, we here show that three species of large carnivores all suffered higher risk of illegal killing inside three largenational parks than in surround- ing unprotected areas in northern Sweden. We suggest that this illegal killing is the result of low enforcement and public presence in these remote parks, which results in a low probability for poachers to be discovered. Our results demonstrate that size of protected areas alone may be a poor predictor of their conservation value for large carnivores. We warn against passive nationalpark management and advocate considering the ecological and socioeconomic con- text present inside as well as outside protected areas.
In this chapter, we advocate that determining the distribution and densities of resource quantity and quality in space and time is a crucial step towards understanding the spatial arrangement of herbivores. In recent years remote sensing has become the tool of choice for producing high-spatial-resolution impressions of the variability of the landscape, and in particular land cover. Remote sensing is slowly moving away from mapping the surface into discrete land cover classes. More and more, it is now used to produce highly accurate probability maps of presence, depicting the percentage of individual pixels covered with a certain surface element. In this chapter, we presented several examples to illustrate the progress in remote sensing supporting resource ecology. These examples showed that biomass and nutrient concentrations in the vegetation may be monitored. The consequences for large herbivores from such approaches are obvious in terms of modelling resource quantity and quality over time. Some hypotheses for future research are formulated in Box 4.3.
University of New England with many field schools taken to Backwater between 1960 and 1990. Williams (1991) produced a preliminary checklist of plants found on Wattleridge. Greg Roberts completed a masters preliminary thesis on the vegetation on granite on the Northern Tablelands and North Western Slopes, using Backwater as one of the main study sites (Roberts 1983). Binns (1992) recorded five vegetation survey sites within Warra for a comprehensive assessment of the vegetation under the management of the Glen Innes State Forests. Hunter (1992) described the vegetation and placed belt transects on Wattleridge in an investigation of sympatrically growing Brachyloma species. Hunter (1999) recorded 46 vegetation survey sites within the Backwater area, all within Warra NP or on Wattleridge, for investigation into the biogeography of the granitic outcrop flora of the New England. Benson and Ashby (2000) recorded seven floristic survey sites within Warra NP and a number of others in the Backwater area during vegetation mapping of the Guyra 1: 100 000 map sheet.
mangrove species and a negative correlation between canopy height and salinity in TWNP. All of these indicate mangrove species’ response to long-term seasonal hyper-salinity, in the form of reduced growth and decreased success in seedling [50, 51, 52]. In a study in Pichavaram (India), natural causes of mangrove degradation were attributed to high salinity, low levels of available nutrients and low microbial counts . The large amounts of brackish water accumulated during the summer turns hyper-saline, ultimately killing/retarding mangroves . In relation, the River Gambia estuary has one of the most drastic seasonal variations in the world; from extensive floods during the peak rainy season to overwhelming salt intrusions during the peak dry season , leading to insufficient time for adaptation/succession by any given species .
The NationalPark System of Zimbabwe is a main attraction for foreign tourists and an important contributor to the economic well being of the country. It contains large numbers of elephants, lions and other types of magnificent African wildlife. The entrance and lodging fees currently charged of foreign visitors to Zimbabwe parks should be significantly altered. They are too low to serve as an effective restraint on the demands made by humans on ecological systems. They forego large potential revenues that could be achieved with a higher fee structure. The current charge at Victoria Falls of US $10 per foreign visitor per day, for example, could be increased to US $25 without much effect on total levels of visitation. Significant increases in entrance fees, as well as lodging rates, could also be made at other Zimbabwe parks. The higher revenues could be employed to provide better park visitor services and greater protection of park resources. Other desirable changes in policies for entrance fees and lodging rates for foreign visitors include: (1) wider variability in fees from one park to another; (2) smaller discounts for longer stays in a park; (3) half-price discounts for children up to age 18; (4) increased charges for noncommercial vehicles; (5) significantly higher rates for lodging facilities in Zimbabwe parks; and (6) major improvements in booking arrangements for park lodging. It is estimated that revised park entrance fee and lodging rate policies along these lines could roughly double the total revenues earned by the NationalPark System of Zimbabwe to a new level of perhaps US $10 million per year or more.