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Title: Effects of Short-Duration Overnight Cattle Kraaling on Wildlife Distribution and Patch Utilisation At Debshan Ranch, Zimbabwe: Implication for Holistic Grazing.
Authors: Sahomba, Meshack
Keywords: cattle kraaling
wildlife species
natural resources
Issue Date: May-2018
Publisher: Lupane State University
Abstract: Holistic management is a whole farm planning system that helps rangeland managers in conservation of natural resources and is implemented in management of livestock without affecting wildlife. Short duration overnight kraaling is done to protect livestock from predators; however, kraal patches have had an attractive effect on herbivores wildlife species which in turn negatively affect patch recovery. A study was done at Debshan Ranch in Shangani, Zimbabwe to investigate the effect of kraaling, kraal age, seasonality, and their interaction on wildlife abundance, diversity, richness and activity on previously kraaled patches using camera traps. Camera traps (n=36) were set up in different aged kraals (1, 2, 3 and 4 year/s) with paired controls (300m from the kraal). A total of 2833 images were captured throughout the study period (n=324 in the hot-wet season, n=874 in the cold dry season and n=1635 in the hot-dry season). Results showed that kraaling had a significant impact on the abundance of wildlife and the interaction between kraaling and seasonality significantly affected abundance (p<0.05>). The diversity and richness of animals did not differ between control and kraaled sites while abundance of animals was greater in kraaled than non-kraaled sites in the hot-wet and cold-dry seasons. There was a peak in species diversity and species richness in hot-dry followed by cold-dry season but was lower in hot-wet season. There was no significant difference in occupancy and utilization (x2 =3 1.180; p<0.05) between different kraals ages but there was a significant difference across seasons (x2=13.695; p<0.001). Kraaling significantly affected occupancy and utilization and these generally high in kraaled areas. Occupancy was high during PM while utilization was higher during AM. Our findings show that kraaled patches positively affect the distribution of wildlife mostly in hot-dry season and cold-dry season. The hot-dry season was characterized by man high species richness and that indicated that there is much damage in kraals in the dry season as wildlife frequent kraaled patches for different activities like dusting, anti-predation, feeding and toiletry.
Appears in Collections:Department of Animal and Rangeland Management

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