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Title: Space Use by Free Ranging Common Duiker (Sylvicapra Grimmia) at Dambari Field Station
Authors: Ndlovu, Gbenou N. A.
Keywords: Duikers
grass habitats
habitat type
Issue Date: Jun-2018
Publisher: Lupane State University
Abstract: In every ecosystem, there is need for population monitoring in order to relate population estimates to habitat use as this may have connotations on carrying capacity and resource availability, which ultimately impact on sustainability. A study that focused on common duikers (Sylvicapra grimmia) at Dambira Field Station, privately owned 25ha property located in Bulawayo, was carried out between January and June 2017. A combination of line transects and camera trapping was used in the determination of population density estimates as well as for the measurement of habitat selection. The calculated common duiker density from dung-heap counts by use of the cleared plot approach was found to be 53, 4 animals + SE km-2, hence for the 19ha study site, the average duiker density was 10, 2 animals + SE km-2transect and camera trap data were combined to calculate common duiker Presence. The Fischer’s exact test for count data at 5% significance level was conducted to test the relationship between Presence and habitat type. A statistically significant result was yielded, (p= 0.001773), showing that a relationship does exist between common duiker presence and habitat type. The Standardized Manly’s selection index also referred to as the Foraging ratio (denoted as Wi) was used to determine habitat selection and, it indicated that common duikers preferred to select dense shrub habitats (Wi= 0,304) whereas open grass habitats where somewhat avoided (Wi=0,258). Furthermore, the habitat variables herbaceous aerial cover and visibility were measured using a 1mX1m frame quadrat and a black and white checkerboard respectively. Common duikers were found mostly in areas of low visibility, that is, an average visibility of 14, 3% measured at 10m distance. In terms of herbaceous aerial cover, common duikers were found in different habitats with aerial cover of herbs and forbs ranging from 5-30%. Use of spoor counts revealed that most spoor was found in woodland habitat. However, researcher must take caution in the interpretation of spoor count findings as they are not highly reliable especially when used as a sole method to determine habitat utilization, but rather spoor counts may be used if supported by other methods.
Appears in Collections:Department of Animal and Rangeland Management

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