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Mammals: Q & A

Find, identify and discuss the animals of all the SANParks

Habitat destruction

Unread post by Richprins » Sun Apr 29, 2007 7:20 pm


These are some self-explanatory questions, in a way. The best thing, I think, would be to check around the "Animals" thread.

Habitat destruction is theoretically not a Kruger problem, as it has been largely undisturbed for over 100 years. (Elephants are changing that, so check the "culling thread for exhaustive details.)

1) The best example would probably be White and Black Rhino, a true Kruger success story. They were mostly brought in from KZN, where their habitat was being taken over by farms, and they were being poached.

(Poaching goes hand in hand with habitat destruction throughout the world.)

Other animals relocated to Kruger include Roan, Liechtenstein's Hartebeest, Cheetah, Oribi, Suni, Red Duiker, Samango Monkey, Vaal Rhebuck and Mountain Reedbuck, with limited success, and more to strengthen Park numbers than to rescue them from habitat destruction.

2) Kruger works hard at protecting its own habitat, notably having a unit that combats alien plants, a long-term study on veld-burning and the impact of artificial waterholes, and special projects to combat soil erosion in overgrazed areas.

If you get information on the "Working for Water" programme, it will give you more insight on Kruger and National efforts.

3) I think the situation regarding species near Kruger Park is improving, as much land is being turned over to game farming, hunting or ecotourism.

This protects especially the smaller species, and adds to the war against poaching.

On the Mozambique side, your question is far more pertinent. The Transfrontier Park will protect many probably undocumented species, threatened by subsistence poaching, overgrazing, or water scarcity.

Hope this helps!

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Re: Rare animals

Unread post by bucky » Sun Apr 29, 2007 11:58 pm

naomirsa wrote:Sable
Red Hartebeest
Suni Antelope
Wild dogs
Lion (they seem to disappear in Kruger)
Brown Hyaena
and in birds (Black Eagle, and Ostritch)

Lions would be the easiest to find on this list , all over the park , with most in the central and south eastern areas .

Sable - Difficult to find .
Red hartebeest - This is a midleveld and highveld specie not found in kruger .
Suni - I don't think found often in kruger , although apparently certain areas like pafuri offer a fair chance to see one .
Eland - Same as sable
Wild dogs - South of the sabie rivers your best bet .
Brown hyena - Not in Kruger (If you see one its probably a migrant)
Aardwolf or antbear/eater - Very unlikely to see , most people have never seen one in a lifetime of visits , aardwolf prefers the drier areas of the country also , so kruger is not ideal habitat for it .

Ostritch is fairly common East of Satara and North of Lower sabie .
I have not seen many black eagles in Kruger (If any)as they are a mountain loving species , and feast on dassies as one of there primary prey species.
Most of krugers roads are not really in the vicinity of its mountains .

Good luck :D

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Unread post by Jose » Thu May 17, 2007 5:39 pm

Hm... I seem to remember friends showing me a photo of a battered kettle with "lion kill" written on it as well. :lol: Might even be a pic of it somewhere on the forums.

/think think...

*edit: found it. Was at Bitterpan
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Re: The Start of KNP

Unread post by Wild@Heart » Mon May 28, 2007 7:12 am

Candy's Style wrote:HEy Everyone!!

Just a curious question,
a) How many different species of animals were there when KNP it started in 1898?
b) What was the approximate number of animals in the park at that time? :hmz:

Good questions ..

I can tell you that KNP was not as big then as it was now. The number of population species I don't believe were recorded. Pretoriuskop probably had the most.

The animal numbers were very low due to hunting that went on. The 1st elephant and rhino took a long time to come back once the hunting got less. At one stage the animal numbers were so low that they decided to start shooting all the predators, Lion, cheetah, leopard, crocodile, jackals, hyaena etc etc .. because they thought the antelope species will not survive and predators were regarded as vermin (word??) then.

It later stopped when the studies showed it was not the case.

There is a book about the James Stevenson-Hamilton giving more information (not numbers) but about the history. Can't remember the name now .. but sure another forumite will be able to assist.

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Unread post by Loams » Mon May 28, 2007 2:23 pm

Adansonia wrote:I may be wrong but according to me the following mammal species were re-introduced to the KNP (therefore extinct at the time of proclamation):

Black & white rhino
Lichtenstein hartebeest
Red duiker?
Samango monkey?

I'm not 100% sure though.

Interesting discussion indeed!

I know Rhino (both species) were re-introduced after Ian Player successfully conserved them in a KZN park. I don't know about the other mentioned species.
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Unread post by Perks. » Mon May 28, 2007 2:56 pm

Aardwolf solely nocturnal, and highly secretive, thus will only be seen in KNP if on a night drive, due to camp gate closures to the general public at night.

Have seen one in Mabula.
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Unread post by BushCall » Mon May 28, 2007 2:58 pm

Lichtensteins Hartebeest were brought back from Malawi by Anthony Hall Martin, Bruce Bryden and one or two others about 20 yrs ago. Oribi came from Natal as did samango Monkeys. Red Duiker always existed around Pretorius Kop

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Unread post by Loams » Mon May 28, 2007 3:09 pm

Perks. wrote:Aardwolf solely nocturnal,

:naughty: mainly nocturnal

:wink: :D
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Re: The Start of KNP

Unread post by Brummie » Mon May 28, 2007 5:45 pm

Wild@Heart wrote:There is a book about the James Stevenson-Hamilton (...)

The title is "South African Eden" - I have a copy that I have read 3 times (so far!) it's a great read. I will have a (fourth) go and see if I can find any facts/figures. Originally published in 1937,the edition I have was published by Collins in 1974 ISBN 0 00 216759 10.

Highly recommended if you can find a copy (mine came from a charity shop in UK and cost me 45 pence (R6.00) - money well spent!
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Unread post by KNP Spokesman » Tue May 29, 2007 4:17 pm

Hi Forum Folks

To be honest, the original question is pretty difficult to answer with Kruger's rather chequered history. The Sabie Game Reserve was declared in 1898 but this was relatively small compared with what Kruger looks like now.

Former KNP director Dr Salmon Joubert will be launching his book at the KNP Birthday Celebration this week and I am sure this will answer many of these questions.

In the times of Stevenson-Hamilton and Wohluter, game census weren't done at all and the only records we have of species and their respective numbers were the rangers' notes in their diaries (a tradition that still happens to this day).

According to Dr Joubert's research, most of the major game species like rhino were wiped out in Kruger by the Rinderpest (a disease) in about 1880. In the book Neem Uit Die Verlede by Dr Tol Pienaar, there is a photograph of a ranger (sorry, can't remember who) pointing at a black rhino spoor and this must have been in the 1940s or 1950s (I need to go and read up on it again - my memory is fading fast).

Both rhino species were reintroduced from KZN in the 1960s and 1970s and the white rhino population growth since then in Kruger can be seen as a huge achievement for conservation. It started with a small group and has climbed to over 5 000 animals in a matter of 40 years!

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Unread post by Imberbe » Tue May 29, 2007 10:58 pm

Animals can be quite intelligent - especially predators - and they often use the terrain to their advantage. Whether natural or man made! To survive you use any advantage you can get!

In certain reserves it is well known behaviour for animals such as cheetah to patrol the boundary fence in search of prey they can chase along the boundary road and corner against the fence.

Predators such as lion and especially wild dog often use human roads when they are hunting. They can move fast, there is no obstacles and there is less noise.

It is also known that lion often kill giraffe along tarred roads. This is probably because the giraffe may slip and fall when fleeing across a tarred road.

Some instances of using human infrastructure may be purely coincidence, but there is clear evidence that it often is intentional.
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Unread post by Nico » Sat Jun 16, 2007 9:53 pm

To spot a Leopard is not only using your eyes but also using your ears.When you listening carefully, than Nature will point out a Leopard for you through the alarm calls of birds or animals like impala's. We have visit KNP for already 10 times and have seen more than 35 Leopards. Last year we saw in one visit of 6 weeks, 14 Leopards. With the speed between 10 and 20 km an hour and listening to what nature has to tell us, we see Leopards and we see so much more like snakes, birds, little mammals, flowers and.....Leopards. When you drive too fast, you will miss so much and of course, you can't see the Leopards. Forget the Leopard but look carefully into Nature and enjoy all the gifts that nature has in mind for you and "THAN" you will see Leopards. Don't look for us, we look for you, is what the Leopard said.
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Unread post by timbo » Tue Jun 26, 2007 6:16 pm

Which mammal predator do you think is the most adapted to the different terrian and area's in SA.

I think its the leopard what do you think.

edited to had in mammal
Last edited by timbo on Thu Jun 28, 2007 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post by Stomstom » Tue Jun 26, 2007 7:12 pm

Sorry Timbo

I feel that the caracal must take this honour, as it is one of the few mamals I know that doesn't rely on constant water as it gets enough moisture from the tissue of it's prey. It is also widespread through africa being excluded from true desert and from the centrak and western forest blocks. Seems it can't handle the hunid heat from the rain forests and the desert sun....but as far as I know they apear every where else.

Seems to me they've adapted well otherwise or how says you???
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Unread post by timbo » Tue Jun 26, 2007 7:48 pm

Sorry but leopards can survive on the blood of their prey according to a mag i read. They also live in simi desert and in the rain forest and they dont just live in parks. They are found out side parks.
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