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Hensman, M.C., Owen-Smith, N., Parrini, F. and Bonyongo, C.M. 2014. Home range occupation and habitat use of sable antelope in the Okavango Delta region of northern Botswana. African Journal of Ecology, 52(2): 237–245


Description:

Home range occupation and habitat use of sable antelope in the Okavango Delta region of northern Botswana.

Summary / Notes:

Animals selectively utilize their environments within a hierarchical framework. Our study addressed how the home ranges of sable antelope selectively incorporated the landscape and habitat types available to them. It was conducted in a region of northern Botswana where the sable population was expected to be thriving, in contrast to their threatened status in the wild in South Africa. The movements and habitat use of three neighbouring sable herds were recorded by global positioning system (GPS) telemetry during parts of the seasonal cycle in a region adjoining the seasonally flooded Okavango Delta. Total home range extents covered by these herds were larger than those found for sable in other areas, and local population densities, taking into account the herd sizes, were accordingly lower than in these other areas. Access to surface water appeared to be the main limitation on seasonal home range occupation. Almost all of the local vegetation types were utilized, but sable herds generally favoured dryland grassland during the dry season and floodplain grassland during the wet season, contrary to what we had expected. Hence, it appeared that local home range occupation and habitat use by the three sable antelope herds could be influenced more by interactions with potential competitors and predators than by intrinsic habitat suitability.

Year: 2014

Type: Journal Article

URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/aje.12111/full


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