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Ministry of Environment and Tourism. 2003. Draft species management plan - southern reedbuck, common waterbuck, red lechwe and puku


Description:

Draft species management plan - southern reedbuck, common waterbuck, red lechwe and puku.

Summary / Notes:

The distribution of reedbuck, waterbuck, lechwe and puku populations in southern Africa are shown in Map 1. It is clear that the populations in Namibia are at the edge of the species range. The 'natural range' for reedbuck, waterbuck, lechwe and puku in Namibia is limited to the Caprivi. Within the Caprivi (20,000km2), the species are restricted to the floodplains (4,500km2). These habitats are highly sought after by humans for agriculture and cattle grazing and, in the year 2004, it is estimated that only 3,200km2 of the original floodplain habitats remain. Only 500km2 of these floodplains are protected in national parks (2½ %) and the area is broken into four isolated parts. The pressure caused by cattle grazing on the remaining 2,700km2 of floodplains outside protected areas is extremely high (Map 2). The wetland grazer populations in the Caprivi have fluctuated over the past century from being relatively abundant to being near extinction. The fluctuations appear to be linked to long term rainfall cycles (Fig. 1). Being on the fringe of larger populations in Botswana, they have usually been able to recover from low levels when the rainfall regime is favourable. Today, the population levels of all four species are a matter for concern: puku are almost extinct; waterbuck have been seen sporadically on surveys but, since 1994, there are no records exceeding 20 animals; lechwe have slumped from nearly 13,000 in 1980 to fewer than 200 now; and reedbuck numbers are about 200 at best.

Year: 2003

Type: Report

Download: Species management_southern reedbuck_common waterbuck_red lechwe and puku.pdf (3.3 mb)

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