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Mammal sensus

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African Lynx
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Elephant and Buffalo numbers?

Unread postby African Lynx » Mon May 04, 2009 12:59 pm

I've just returned from a trip to the North of the park. (Shingwedzi, Bateleur and Mopani) What amazed me was the numbers of buffalo and elephant we saw. Buffalo probably 1000+ in a few herds and elephant over 300 in different areas. The last census as quoted on the Kruger Mapbook took place in 2005. That quotes buffalo at 31000 and elephant at 12000 odd. Have there been any since? Are they planning to do one in the near future?

All the guides that we chatted to both in December down south and during this trip also commented on the possible "elephant problem" approaching. We noticed that alot, if not all the adult females had calves with them. The same with the buffalo.

I know theres been alot of debate surrounding the "effective control" of the elephant numbers in Kruger but I have to add that it seems like water will be the controlling factor to their numbers rather than food. Up north there is enough Mopani trees to feed 10 times the numbers of elephant we saw. Although it might be a different story during the winter months I recon.

Regards the buffalo, translocation isnt an option because of both Foot and Mouth and TB. Will culling have to start soon to control their numbers? And am I right in assuming that the carcasses will have to be destroyed because of the aforementioned diseases? One guide even suggested that the lion population needed a boost as TB was shortening their life expectancies hence less numbers. On that note, has a lion census been done since 2005?

To round off, Is there anyone that can tell us what the plan is going forward regards the numbers of both elephant and buffalo?

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JustJuice
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Latest Animal Numbers

Unread postby JustJuice » Sun Nov 22, 2009 9:44 am

Hi,
I was wondering if its possible for someone to direct me to the latest official numbers of animals in the park.
Thank you,
JJ
JJ

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Boorgatspook
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Re: Latest Animal Numbers

Unread postby Boorgatspook » Sun Nov 22, 2009 10:33 am

Annual Report 2007 - 2008
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Annual Report 2008 -2009
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Annual Reports....

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Crested Barbet
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Re: Latest Animal Numbers

Unread postby Crested Barbet » Sun Nov 22, 2009 3:25 pm

Boorgatspook, thanks a lot for the annual reports. However, there is one thing what really needs an explanation:
- elephants 2007-2008: 13.100
- elephants 2008-2009: 12.900
Seems that the nos. of elephants are dropping.

If you read the elephant culling discussion here in the forum you will find a no. of 17.000 elephants.

Is there somebody who can explain that to me?

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ecojunkie
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Re: Mammal sensus

Unread postby ecojunkie » Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:45 pm

Also note that a lot of the numbers are pure 'guesstimates'. Carnivores for example are not counted because of difficulties in doing so..... there has never been a lion census in Kruger but every book has figures!
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Re: Mammal sensus

Unread postby estellem » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:53 pm

We are more interested in the rare mammals like sable, roan etc. Last information in +_ 1996 was a sudden drop in the number of sable. What happened since then? Are there again a growth in their numbers or what is the situation at the moment?

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Re: Mammal sensus

Unread postby Richprins » Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:46 pm

It's a bit of a tender issue, and I don't know how it's done these days.

In the old days Dr G Smuts actually did a lion census of the Central District, tagging prides to prevent confusion.

The results blew the "guesstimates" out of the water, as far over 1000 lions were reliably counted in that district alone! :shock:

Similarly, leopard numbers were revised later to that approaching lion in the totality of Kruger, although they are virtually impossible to count!

I would guess around 2500 lion and 1800 leopard in Kruger currently...

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Imberbe
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Re: Mammal sensus

Unread postby Imberbe » Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:45 pm

With thanks to head of KNP Nature conservation: :thumbs_up:

The annual census is done on a 23% sample basis, which means that 23% of the KNP is surveyed by air. The statistics is then adapted according to internationally accepted formulas, to give an overall statistic.

This technique does not give an accurate representation for scarce animal species, including animals such as roan and sable. For this purpose cybertracker data gathered by field rangers throughout the year, is used. This data is currently being studied by researchers.

It seems as if there is a growth in the numbers of the scarce antelope species, but predation is still negatively affecting their numbers. Further adaptation of the water distribution in the KNP is foreseen, to help these species. The goal is to create larger areas with low water availability, and thus less prey animals and lower predator numbers. These areas favour the scarce antelope species, due to their habitat preference and lower predation

There is currently a group of 34 roan which is often seen in the area around Babalala.

The following is the current numbers. Please note that some of the numbers given, i.e. white rhino, leopard and bush buck, is the lower base numbers. This simply means that there is no exact number available, and the number given is the number they are absolutely sure of. The real numbers are probably higher.

2009 statistics:

Species and Number (Approx.)

    Black rhinoceros 590
    Blue wildebeest 9000
    Buffalo 37500
    Burchell's zebra 20900
    Bushbuck +/-500
    Cheetah 200
    Crocodile 4400
    Eland +/-456
    Elephant 13696
    Giraffe 7100
    Greater kudu 8100
    Hippopotamus 3100
    Impala 130000
    Leopard                   1000
    Lichtenstein Hartebeest +/-46
    Lion 1600
    Mountain reedbuck 150
    Nyala 300
    Reedbuck 300
    Roan antelope +/-86
    Sable antelope +/-288
    Spotted hyena 3600
    Tsessebe +/-222
    Warthog 2300
    Waterbuck 3200
    White rhinoceros 10500
    Wild dog 350
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estellem
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Re: Mammal sensus

Unread postby estellem » Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:07 am

Thank you for your response. We have seen the roan north of
Babalala. Was more concern about Sable because haven't seen any in many years.

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Re: Mammal sensus

Unread postby Duke Ellieton » Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:59 pm

Very interesting stats Imberbe. Nice to see the rhino numbers. Just for comparison there were about 600 WR and 70 BR in 1980.

Much of the other numbers seem steady for the different annaul stat figures I have but lions at 1600 seem greatly reduced - any reason for this?

Have never seen sable between Afsaal and Malelane but have around ship mountain.
Estellem, the S36 from Jones Dam right upto Muzanzeni is also a good area for Sable. Have had many sightings on this road.

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Imberbe
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Re: Mammal sensus

Unread postby Imberbe » Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:07 pm

:thumbs_up:

The lion numbers are actually up from the stats shown in 2007. The report mentions that a. lion are difficult to count, and b. that lion number seem to be stable.
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Richprins

Re: Mammal sensus

Unread postby Richprins » Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:25 pm

Thanks, Imberbe! :thumbs_up:

Do you think Kruger nature conservation uses the forums to add to their data?

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Imberbe
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Re: Mammal sensus

Unread postby Imberbe » Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:59 pm

:thumbs_up:

No, the data here is not reliable enough. They will get a much better idea through the Cybertracker programs used by the field rangers on a daily basis.
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Richprins

Re: Mammal sensus

Unread postby Richprins » Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:10 pm

Just a correction...

Mountain Reedbuck are found in the Lebombos...

Grey Rhebuck were introduced to the "summit" of Khandizwe "Mountain" near B&Dal camp in the 80's, via helicopter, so no tourist has seen them and they are probably gone by now!

Oribi gone...

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Duke Ellieton
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Re: Mammal sensus

Unread postby Duke Ellieton » Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:26 pm

Hello Imberbe,

Can I get your thoughts on the rising pachyderm populations in KNP. Below are graphs for white rhino, elephant and buffalo numbers from 1980 to 2009 and as can be seen all are on the rise.

Is there any evidence of a correlation between this and vegetation destruction and dwindling numbers of some other mammal species and what is the latest thinking on controlling population numbers?


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