Using diet and plant resources to set wildlife stocking densities in Africa savannas’, J du P.

Bothma, N. van Rooyen*, M. W. van Rooyen*,Wildlife Society Bulletin 32(3):840-851. 2004, of which this is the abstract:


‘In the African savannas, herbivores are classified into 4 basic dietary classes: low-selective grazers, high-selective grazers, mixed feeders, and browsers. Given these conditions, a more appropriate approach (is) needed than the agricultural method based on livestock units to determine stocking rates for wildlife. Consequently, a new approach was developed that recognizes plant resource variation at the plant community level and differentiates between the grazing and browsing component in the diet of herbivores in the African savannas. The model used to calculate the grazing and browsing capacity on wildlife ranches provides for rainfall variability, quality and quantity of available grazing and browse, dietary requirements of each type of wildlife, and availability of suitable habitat. In this model the conventional conversion of wildlife to a Large Stock Unit has been replaced by a Grazer Unit, which is the equivalent of a 180-kg blue wildebeest (Connochaetestaurinus), and a Browser Unit, which is the equivalent of a 140-kg greater kudu (Tragelaphusstrepsiceros). By separating the grazing and browsing components in the diet of wildlife for stocking density calculation, the diversity in the vegetation resources is optimally utilized. ’

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