alexa Population structure and ecology of the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer Sparrman, 1779) in Chebera Churchura National Park, Ethiopia
Agri and Aquaculture

Agri and Aquaculture

Poultry, Fisheries & Wildlife Sciences

Author(s): Aberham Megaze, Mundanthra Balakrishnan, Gurja Belay

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An investigation of population structure and ecology of the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer Sparrman, 1779) was carried out in the Chebera Churchura National Park, Ethiopia during the wet and dry seasons of 2005–2006. Sample counts of African buffaloes were carried out in an area of 1,215 km2. The estimated population of buffalo was 2,617 individuals. Males comprised 35.0%, while females 52.8% of the population. The remaining 12% of the population was young of both sexes and of all ages of unknown sex. It was difficult to categorize the young into male and female in the field, as their primary sexual characteristics were not easily visible. Male to female sex ratio was 1.00 : 1.51. Age structure was dominated by adults, which constituted 72.06% of the total population. Subadults comprised 22.02%, and young accounted for 5.9% of the population. Larger herds of up to 27 individuals were observed during the wet season and smaller herds of eight individuals during the dry season. The mean herd size during wet and dry seasons was 24.81 and 7.77, respectively. The African buffaloes were distributed in four habitat types such as grasslands, woodlands, montane forests and riverine habitat in the study area. They were observed more in the riverine vegetation types during the dry season. Relative abundance of food resources, green vegetation cover and water availability in the area were the major factors governing their distribution in the present study area. They spent a greater proportion of the time in feeding and resting/ruminating activities. On the average, 49.7% of the daytime was spent in feeding, and 38.75% of the day on resting (lying down and standing). Morning and the late afternoon activity peaks were more pronounced during the dry season than the wet season.

This article was published in African journal of Ecology and referenced in Poultry, Fisheries & Wildlife Sciences

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