Skip to Content

Antelope: Roan

Find, identify and discuss the animals of all the SANParks

Moderator: RosemaryH

User avatar
mafortini
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 9:29 am
Location: Norwich, UK

Antelope: Roan

Unread postby mafortini » Tue Aug 01, 2006 12:17 pm

Does anyone know the status of Roan antelope in the Kruger? I recently saw one on the tar road whilst heading up towards Pafuri but I haven't seen any previously for years.

A few years ago a Ranger told me that the numbers were decreasing because of the man-made waterholes. Apparently, the Wildebeest weren't migrating seasonally like they were supposed to and they were eating the habitat that the roan would normally eat. Hence the closure of a lot of the waterholes.

Can anyone comment?

User avatar
mafortini
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 9:29 am
Location: Norwich, UK

Unread postby mafortini » Wed Aug 02, 2006 9:26 am

They meant well by putting in all the artificial waterholes but they had the wrong effect, ultimately.

Lets hope that the more rarer species in the Park continue to thrive.

Marcel van der merwe
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2005 1:11 pm
Location: Cape Town

Unread postby Marcel van der merwe » Wed Aug 02, 2006 2:43 pm

I heard that there is only 40 Roan left in KNP. :)

User avatar
Wild about cats
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2437
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 4:10 pm
Location: SA

Unread postby Wild about cats » Sat Aug 19, 2006 2:10 pm

Wow! It's reaaly sad that these animals are suffering.
Apparently their numbers have never been high, but i suppose never this low either...

User avatar
Wildman
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 73
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2006 2:27 pm
Location: Pretoria, RSA

More interest out there?

Unread postby Wildman » Wed Aug 23, 2006 11:00 pm

I am of the impression that Roan antelope are exceptionally vulnerable animals in general. They have never really thrived anywhere to my knowledge. I have heard about the ‘borehole’ theories but surely there are other factors too? Easy prey? Genetically weak?
Are there any animal experts out there that could possibly elaborate? I’m surprised how little information there is out there (on Roan), despite large conservation projects.

User avatar
Wild about cats
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2437
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 4:10 pm
Location: SA

Unread postby Wild about cats » Thu Aug 24, 2006 2:25 pm

Apparently when new waterholes are built, other animals like wildebeest will spread and not only stay in one area that has the waterhole they normally drink from. The roan stay in this waterless area and when the wildebeest move there they eat all their food. The roan species doesn't get enough to eat. :cry:

User avatar
Wildman
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 73
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2006 2:27 pm
Location: Pretoria, RSA

Roan fragility theories

Unread postby Wildman » Fri Aug 25, 2006 1:45 pm

Any OTHER reasons for the fragile Roan populations?
(I know about the waterhole theory)

User avatar
richardharris
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 543
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 3:04 pm
Location: Nottinghamshire UK

Unread postby richardharris » Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:55 pm

I have a superb book about the Park dated 1986, by Paynter and Nussey, called Kruger, Portrait of a National Park.

A couple of interesting things are confirmed in it. Firstly roan are very susceptible to anthrax. Indeed so much so that the rangers used to innoculate them against it (one of the very few active interventions). The treated ones could be identified by a purple mark on their rump. The program cost R20000 a year - quite a lot in those days! Oddly, many current rangers are totally unaware of this.

Despite this, they also say that roan were not uncommon in the north of the Park - though exact numbers are not mentioned.

They also say that roan, sable and eland are frequently (!) seen around the Babalala area. I can sort of go along with this. I have seen sable around here, and from my first visit in 1988 till about 1998 we always saw eland in this area. But something has happened (as many others who have years of experience have commented) since and I have not seen eland since (despite always going to the north of the Park).

Is this too many visitors on too few roads? Is it the effect of the floods in 2000 driving animals away and they simple have not returned from whereever they are now? Can't blame the opening of the fences since this predates that. Any thoughts.

Richard

User avatar
Wildman
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 73
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2006 2:27 pm
Location: Pretoria, RSA

Rare antelope

Unread postby Wildman » Mon Sep 04, 2006 11:37 pm

Yes Richard, I can also confirm this. We saw eland in the Northern region more frequently back in the period of 1998 as compared to now. It seems to me that the rare antelope of the KNP are rare for good reasons – they seem to be innately susceptible to disease and drought (and other climatic anomalies.)

Despite this though, these antelope survive (and even flourish in region elsewhere outside KNP) and that is the key I think. The conservationists need to pinpoint the encouraging and positive prognostic factors.
This is the Law o’the Jungle,as old&as true as the sky;The Wolf that shall keep it prospers,the Wolf that shall break it dies;the Law runs forward and back
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf,&the strength of the Wolf is the Pack
Kipling

User avatar
Peter Betts
Posts: 966
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:38 pm
Location: Port Elizabeth

Unread postby Peter Betts » Fri Sep 08, 2006 7:38 pm

zeedoc wrote:Roan are actually quite common in other parts of africa ( population over 150000 ) Those in the kruger seem to be prone to disease and competition from other herbivores

Female sable are often confused for roan as the female sable has a brownier colour then the male

I recall the kruger population being some 770 not so many years ago but that has now dropped to around 70?

Why doesnt kruger management re-introduce the roan and other rare antelope from countries where they are still found in some numbers?

If you want to see roan go to chad ( their was an interesting article on this in getaway magazine )


Sable numbers have crashed to just over 100 if you include the private reserves... Roan was 38 apparently in last census with no young ones seen . The Roan in Chad is a slightly different race to Krugers. The Zambian, Tanzanian, Botswana populations are quite strong and are the same species as Kruger
2009
Punda Maria Sept 27,28
Bateleur Sept 29,30 (free award)
Tamboti Oct 1,2,3,4
Biyamiti Oct 5,6,7,8

FGASA Local Area Guide

Nikon D700 FX, Nikkor 24-70 G f2.8, Nikkor 70-200VR f2.8, Nikkor 200-400 VR f4, Nikon 1.4 & 1.7 Convertors

Richprins

Roan antelope

Unread postby Richprins » Tue Nov 14, 2006 8:38 pm

Roan numbers have definitely plummeted in the Park.

There are CERTAINLY none left of the Pretoriuskop population, and the waterhole theory seems good enough for me as far as the rest of the Park is concerned. Kruger is on the absolute fringe of their African distribution, so unfortunately it seems as though they will eventually disappear there.

Yes, reintroduction was done in north and south of Kruger from Malawi in the 80's, but obviously has not worked, despite aerial immunisation against anthrax, which probably caused more stress-related problems than good.

Still, my rarest big antelope to see in the Park, and long may they continue.

Last spotted in 2004 at Kremetart windmill, only one!

First spotting near Gudzane dam in the 80's, amongst a herd of Sable (The "roble" bunch).

Richprins

User avatar
mountainview
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 220
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:09 pm

Unread postby mountainview » Tue Jan 02, 2007 7:54 pm

Roan in the park have just taken a nose dive over the last decade (together with Eland, last I heard 300 in the park).

My last sighting of Roan in the Park was about 15 years back when we left Shingwedzi at about 4:30 and determined to see Roan did not stop for anything that morning, as we headed up the H1-7 after about 30km we started to see them at the water points. They however were not interested in being "viewed" and moved off quite quickly. However at the end of the day we got to see 48, mostly family groups.

Since then I have seen them at Nylsvlei, but being on foot they were real skittish and moved off as fast a possible. Interesting there they were grazing in the floodplain which that year was between 30-40cm deep in water. They were a largish group which mingled freely with other herbivores.
Last edited by mountainview on Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:17 am, edited 2 times in total.
Latest Lifers: Brown-Backed Honeybird; Violet-Eared Waxbill; Green-Winged Pytilia; and heard often but never seen - Yellow-Fronted Tinkerbird (±2m away in the open)

User avatar
Boulder
Posts: 318
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 7:34 pm
Location: Sunshine Coast

Unread postby Boulder » Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:06 pm

Saw 2 near Klopperfontein waterhole 2 weeks ago
Dawn greeting of the francolin

User avatar
Kingfisha
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 176
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 12:35 pm
Location: Polokwane

Unread postby Kingfisha » Thu May 31, 2007 2:10 pm

I have seen Roan antelope in the Satara area. The interesting thing is that the bulls often walk alone with other animals ie wildebees and then people do not even see them. So when you are in that area, make sure you keep your eyes peeled for an odd animal amongst the herds.
Also saw roan just north of Letaba (on the road to Makhadzi picnic spot.) You will be more likely to see them in the northern parts of the park.

User avatar
Freda
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2005
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2004 7:01 am
Location: Marloth Park, South Africa

Unread postby Freda » Thu May 31, 2007 6:46 pm

I saw one near Klopperfontein Dam on the 17th May 2007 :D
Image

Image
It was with zebra and impala.


Return to “Mammals”