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Some "unscientific" ideas to save the Roan Antilope

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Re: Some "unscientific" ideas to save the Roan Antilope

Unread postby DinkyBird » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:01 pm

Have you all seen this topic on Roan numbers in Kruger - link

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Duke Ellieton
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Re: Some "unscientific" ideas to save the Roan Antilope

Unread postby Duke Ellieton » Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:04 pm

A paper on the Changing Distribution of the larger ungulates in Kruger - here

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Re: Some "unscientific" ideas to save the Roan Antilope

Unread postby Imberbe » Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:22 pm

DinkyBird wrote:"Unscientific" has become very scientific, so we are moving this discussion to the Science forum :D

:dance: I think we have probably made Forum history! It is possibly the first time ever a thread gets "upgraded" to a "higher intelectual" forum rather than being moved down to chit-chat or similar (With terrible appologies and humble excuses to all our valuable forum equals in chit-chat! :shock: )

Another factor in animal population decline is the patchy distribution of species. Having a look at the distribution charts DE so kindly highlighted shows that these animals (Roan, Sable, Tsessebe, Lichtensteins, Eland) in KNP is patchily distributed. When numbers become low this can cause animals to start battling to find suitable groups and mates for reproduction.

Young animals will often leave a natal heard to find another heard where they have a better chance to become a reproductive adult. But when there are no other herds available in the vicinity, they have to stay in their natal heard, with possible negative genetic and social consequences. Or they need to start moving long distances to try and find a suitable heard. This may expose them to increased risk of predation, injury and eventually leave them isolated.

Conservation efforts needs to take this in to consideration. In small reserves active management of genetics and social interaction becomes important to try and mimic a more natural system which has become absent.

Just to adress the question of removing animals from Mokala. I don't think there is any plans to remove any species from Mokala at the moment. At least not which I am aware of (Which is NO guarantee!). I think we can assume that SANParks is very much aware of the value and goal of Mokala. The current animal population of Mokala is a direct result of a very recent and intentional relocation and management process when the park was started just very recently.
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Re: Some "unscientific" ideas to save the Roan Antilope

Unread postby avon vosloo » Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:32 pm

I want to touch on something that's been at the back of my mind for a while - natural migration.

Exactly what does it mean? In layman's terms I would think it means exactly that :twisted: In other words allow the animals to migrate as far and wide as is humanly possible taking into account fences, suitable habitat, availability of water, etc. Bear with me please.........

Trans-frontier parks - a dream IMHO - but, a dream all of us must be dreaming if we want our grandchildren to see more than just gramps phodies of a Roan bull. (did anyone notice the female in the phodie I posted did not have horns?). Ellie I can understand - there could be a few matriarchs still alive today that could remember a route she traveled as a youngster. Jip, I'm thinking of lifespan and if and how lifespan would affect migration.

If they remove the fence between Mokala and Lilydale for instance, how much time will pass before some animals venture into unknown territory? Unknown to some of them, even though they might have been born right next to the old fence. The difference in behavior between animals we watched in Lilydale and then watching the same species in Mokala was quite noticeable. Yes, I know Lilydale used to be a hunting farm and it will take some time - but it's been quite a few years already. And "odd" behavior is not limited to Lilydale - the biggest herd of Eland I ever saw came running like a freight train across the road in Mokala ( what an amazing sight and we experienced the same thing the following day during a guided tour). I got a few reasonably good photos of Roan and Gemsbok on the Lilydale side of the fence.

So much to learn, so little time.

Oops :wink: back on topic - so how do we get SANPARKS to re-think the statement ? -


and a phodie of the animals we all love dearly - crossing the road towards Babalala picnic spot - one of my best sightings ever

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Re: Some "unscientific" ideas to save the Roan Antilope

Unread postby nsmnsi » Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:49 am

Just a bit of historical information here:

In 1970 I saw a herd of about 12 mature Sable Antelope, including some magnificent males with huge horns, approaching the Mtshawu Dam (actually just a small waterhole back then?) on what is now known as the Albasini Road NW of Pretoriuskop - about 10 KM north of Numbi gate. About 1 km further on (north) I saw a small herd of about 10 roan, also mature animals with bulls sporting impressive horns walking toward the waterhole. I took a picture of both herds but those pics may now be long lost. :(

Thought I'd mention this to contribute info on Roan distribution in southern areas back in those days..

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