Title page for ETD etd-11072012-170736


Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Coetzee, Charleen
Email charleen.coetzee@gmail.com
URN etd-11072012-170736
Document Title The effect of vegetation on the behaviour and movements of Burchellís Zebra, Equus burchelli (Gray 1824) in the Telperion Nature Reserve, Mpumalanga, South Africa
Degree MSc
Department Plant Science
Supervisor
Advisor Name Title
Dr T H C Mostert Co-Supervisor
Prof M van der Merwe Co-Supervisor
Prof G J Bredenkamp Supervisor
Keywords
  • Equus burchelli
  • Burchellís Zebra
  • South Africa
Date 2012-09-07
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
Telperion is a portion of the eZemvelo Nature Reserve, located in Mpumalanga Province of South Africa. It falls within the Grassland Biome that comprise of a wide diversity of habitats and of which only 2.3% is currently conserved in reserves. The objective of this study was to determine the interaction of Telperion zebras with their vegetation habitats, the influence of vegetation on their movement and how it differs seasonally, focusing specifically on two groups in distinctly different habitat types. The first, Rocky Highveld Grassland, the second a Mixed Grassland community. Hourly zebra observations took place distinguishing between stallions, mares and foals during different times of the day, throughout a year. Zebra habitat was thereby identified and vegetation surveys were conducted in each of these sites according to the Braun-Blanquet vegetation sampling method. The plant species recorded for each sample plot were captured in the vegetation database TURBOVEG. The database was exported into the working directory JUICE. The results indicate no difference between feeding rates of the habitat types. Mares spent most time feeding, then stallions followed by foals, all of which were highest during afternoons. A vegetation gradient was identified, implying that zebras utilise both vegetation communities, as well as the transition between the communities. Zebras were less vigilant during grazing when large numbers were gathered in the same area. Tracking zebras revealed their migrating behaviour from a central point to the rest of the reserve in summer and more specifically to rocky ridges in winter. The understanding of zebra behaviour contributes to management and mitigation for good veld conditions in Telperion.

Copyright © 2012, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria

Please cite as follows:

Coetzee, C 2012, The effect of vegetation on the behaviour and movements of Burchellís Zebra, Equus burchelli (Gray 1824) in the Telperion Nature Reserve, Mpumalanga, South Africa, MSc dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-11072012-170736 / >

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