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Antelope: Sable

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granjan
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Re: Antelope: Sable

Unread post by granjan » Fri Oct 21, 2011 4:41 pm

I had two separate sightings of these beautiful creatures on the S36 last month. The first was this magnificent bull who was unwilling to share the water at Manzimhlope!
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67911 383 by jansp, on Flickr
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67911 418 by jansp, on Flickr
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67911 406 by jansp, on Flickr

The followind day I saw a herd of seven south of Shimangwaneni dam.

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Re: Antelope: Sable

Unread post by sandeep » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:45 pm

Hi

Spotted my first sables in KNP. Like so many on this thread, my sighting was on the S36 on the way to Skukuza from Thsokwane, 4 km before you hit the H 1-2. The first view was so clear that it was difficult to believe what I had just seen. They were 2 of them and they kept on moving downhill and into the bushes but I did get a few pics :)

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Cheers

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granjan
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Re: Antelope: Sable

Unread post by granjan » Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:25 pm

Lovely pics,Sandeep :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:
I've seen sable on the S36 several times. Always a delight.

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Re: Antelope: Sable

Unread post by flying cheetah » Sun Dec 18, 2011 5:02 pm

I also saw this bull twice on the S36 end of November. What a magnificent animal and for a long time there was no other car around :dance:

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Re: Antelope: Sable

Unread post by Mant » Thu May 17, 2012 9:39 pm

Hi,

We saw this young Sable with his family members near Talamati at the end of March.

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Re: Antelope: Sable

Unread post by Rookie2009 » Thu May 24, 2012 7:37 am

We found 2 of them near Berg en Dal on th e H3 this year :D :

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adw
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Re: Antelope: Sable

Unread post by adw » Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:09 am

Here is the Sable bull that I saw with his herd near Talamati during my Oct 2012 trip. It spooked with the arrival of another car and charged out of the riverbed.

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Rhino Poaching - Highlight's man's stupidity and greediness.

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Re: Antelope: Sable

Unread post by flying cheetah » Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:20 am

Great pic :clap: :clap:
It also proofs that it's hard to be an Oxpecker...
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Re: Antelope: Sable

Unread post by adw » Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:43 pm

Thank you Flying Cheetah, Sharifa, Onewithnature, GMLSmit and Avon for your kind comments.

The herd was more like a family unit as you can see in this photo. There was on more juvenile which I could not include in the photo.

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Rhino Poaching - Highlight's man's stupidity and greediness.

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Re: Antelope: Sable

Unread post by bondm » Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:54 pm

Hi, Some great pictures of Sable. I've just returned from my latest trip to the Kruger. The Capricorn loop never fails to surprise. Over the years I have seen Eland, Roan and Tsessebe but this year saw Sable for the first time in that area. As we appoached the Thihongonyeni waterhole there was some Wildebeest and Zebra. I then noticed the two young male Sable mixed in with the other animals. Unfortunately as soon as they saw us they took flight - hence the not very good pics.
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Pictures taken early morning on 5th Dec.2012. I've seen Sable many times in the south of the park but never this far north. Were these nomadic males or have they been seen in this area before? bondm UK

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Re: Antelope: Sable

Unread post by gmlsmit » Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:47 am

Beautiful animal, thanks for sharing.
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Re: Antelope: Sable

Unread post by Canis Lupus » Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:13 am

Ive only seen Sable once in KNP - on the tar road between Skukuza and Tsokwane. I would love to see them again and am going to Pkop. Does anyone know how frequently they are seen there and which roads one should drive to look for them?
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gmlsmit
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Something about Sable research.

Unread post by gmlsmit » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:22 pm

From 'Farmers Weekly' magazine:

Genetic revival of SA's sable antelope

The fact that the Rowland Ward record sable bull was hunted in Tshokwane in South Africa’s lowveld, rather than in a neighbouring county, inspired the Gravelotte Sable Study Group (GSSG) to restore South Africa’s sable antelope (Hippotragus niger niger) to its full former glory.

Reviving genetic quality

This goal to revive the sable’s genetic quality includes the following objectives:

• Eliminating the average horn-length deficit of 1,1 inches (2,79cm or 2,47%) of South African trophy bulls in comparison to their Zambian counterparts.

• Developing benchmarks to guide the selection process and identify individuals of superior genetic quality. Breed specimens which, in all aspects, resemble that magnificent Rowland Ward record bull from Tshokwane.

• Make these quality animals available to other breeders through live sales and auctions.
Genetically superior animals obviously sell for higher average prices. For this reason, the GSSG proposes specific selection benchmarks.

Benchmarks for female apppearance

The recommended external attributes for female sables deal with coat colour and the horns. Coat colour may vary from glossy light-brown, red-brown and even dark-brown to black, with a strong preference for the first two colour variations.

Benchmarks for male appearance

For external attributes, sable bulls should display strong, masculine features and attitude, and coat colour should be glossy dark (auburn) to jet black.

Bulls should also have evenly sized testicles and a scrotum circumference of between 22cm and 26cm (average 24cm). And the angle between the dorsal part of the bull’s nose and its horn base should be as small (sharp) as possible.

More research

This series was designed to impart information on practical, visual and measurable selection benchmarks for the serious sable antelope breeder.

These criteria are not definitive – the information is based on the GSSG’s observations and experience. More empirical research is required, and new technology, including DNA gene-typing, will play an important role in the further genetic improvement of the sable antelope.

Sources:

Rowland Ward’s Records of Big Game, 27th Edition, Volume 1, 2006;
Guide to Improved Success: Moving the South African Sable from 37’ to 53’ and Beyond. Gravelotte Sable Study Group, 2010.
I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
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Re: Something about Sable research.

Unread post by gmlsmit » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:31 pm

And some more:

Restoring SA's sable antelope population
08:51 (GMT+2), Wed, 31 August 2011
Johan Rabie

This two-part series documents the population decline and genetic decline of sable antelope across Southern Africa. The Gravelotte Sable Study Group, with co-operation between the official conservation authority and private landowners, discusses how it's turning the situation around in South Africa. Johan Rabie reports.

In his book, The Wild Sports of Southern Africa, 19th century explorer Captain William Cornwallis Harris describes his first sighting of the sable antelope (Hippotragus niger) circa 1852:
“The horns, which were flat, and upwards of three feet in length, swept gracefully over the back in the form of a crescent. A bushy black mane extended from the lively chestnut-coloured ears, to the middle of the back; the tail was long and tufted; and the glossy jet-black hue of the greater portion of the body contrasted beautifully with the snow-white face and belly.”

Roughly 50 years later, in 1898, a sable bull was hunted near Tshokwane in the now Kruger National Park (KNP). Its horns measured 55â…œ inches (140,65cm) long, with the tips 21¾ inches (55,25cm) apart and a base circumference of 10¼ inches (26cm). This animal still holds the number one spot in Rowland Ward’s game records.

The book, Rowland Ward’s Records of Big Game, provides an internationally accepted benchmark within the game industry for what constitutes a trophy animal. Apart from this magnificent specimen, the 27th edition of the first volume of this book, published in 2006, contains a further 1 157 entries.

To qualify for entry into the record book, a sable must have horns of at least 41â…ž inches (106,36cm) long. Of the total 1 158 entries in the 27th edition, only 34 (3%) exceed the magical 50-inch (127cm) threshold!

However, what is extremely concerning is the almost 10% decrease in average horn length over the last 100 years. Of all trophies listed in the book, 83% (948) were hunted between 1950 and 2000 at a rate of about 20 animals per annum. A further cause for concern is the fact that only seven qualifying animals were recorded between 2000 and 2005.

It’s interesting to note that South Africa is in fifth position as far as average horn lengths go. This is despite the fact that a sable antelope hunted in South Africa holds the number one Rowland Ward record.

The average horn length in South Africa is 1,1 inches (2,79cm) or 2,47% below Zambia’s average. It’s also interesting to note that the three countries ahead of South Africa, – Zaire, Malawi and Namibia – are only represented by a very small number of animals.

Decline and deterioration

The concern raised regarding the declining number of qualifying trophy animals in recent decades points to the larger problem with the sable antelope’s dwindling population. The sable antelope population in the KNP and surrounding areas has declined dramatically over the last few decades.

The 1986 KNP census recorded about 2 200 individuals. Today, the number is estimated at only 100 to 200 animals. In the 1930s an estimated 15 000 to 20 000 sable antelope occurred in the vicinity of Gravelotte, about 150km north-west of Tshokwane where the record sable was hunted. By 1985, this population fell to about 800 animals.

Following the 1985 census, Dr SS du Plessis, who was Tranvaal’s Nature Conservation director at the time, asked Pieter Vorster, a respected farmer in Gravelotte, to establish a study group. Its objective was to reverse the declining sable population in the Gravelotte area, which was widely regarded as the bastion of the species in South Africa. Thus, the Gravelotte Sable Study Group (GSSG) was formed with Pieter as its first chairperson.

Sources:

Rowland Ward’s Records of Big Game, 27th Edition, Volume 1, 2006;
Guide to Improved Success. Moving the South African Sable from 37’ to 53’ and Beyond. Gravelotte Sable Study Group, 2010.
I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 156 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.

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Ifubesi
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Re: Something about Sable research.

Unread post by Ifubesi » Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:34 pm

Very informative, thanks Gmlsmit. Interesting to note the habitat change that obviously must have taken place since that record sable bull was shot at Tshokwane in 1898. You don't find any sable in that area anymore, except for the small population to the west of Tshokwane south of Hlanguleni picnic-area.
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