Factors Influencing Antelope Population

Methodology

  • Record the population of the 5 species by walking on the farm over 6 visits to the farm of study lasting 3 days on average and having visual confirmation by both the researcher and trusted farm owner.
  • Record the specific species of grass that each species eat that is found on the farm.
  • Record geographical positioning of the individual grass species on the farm using rasta data on GIS layers by manually recording on a QGIS app (SW Maps) on a tablet.
  • Record specific areas that the different species are observed in over a recording period of 8 months.

  • Compare the area where the antelope are found to their preferred grass species, water sources, and landscape on GIS layers.
  • Determine if the specific species is living in their ideal habitat and whether their current habitat is positively or negatively affecting their population growth.
  • Determine which factors could be enhanced, increased, or removed to positively affect the population growth of each species Conclusion

Food is abundant for each of the species on the farm but if there is a large increase in population then the farm owner might have to put feed out such as lucern or feeding pellets.

The blesbuck suffered the largest decrease in population which might be because the bushveld is not their preferred biome but rather open savannah grasslands but the farm owner has said he will continue trying to introduce them to the farm. Another problem the blesbuck may face is their lack of knowledge of the hunting styles of the predators found in the area.

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The waterbuck had the largest increase in population which is odd as they are known to live near large sources of permanent water but it seems these waterbuck have adapted to the dryer climate and drink less water from any available source, both natural or artificial. The waterbuck tend to not stray far from water sources as they have to drink large amounts of water each day but even in these areas surrounding water sources they are hard to spot. But I believe they will survive and continue to have an increase in population on the farm due to their ability to adapt. The mountain reedbuck are doing well in terms of population growth even if it is not shown by the population graphs, two had left the larger herd to form their herd and have produced a lamb showing that there can be two herds on the farm. Both these herds have enough water and food to sustain them and therefore should continue to have an increase in population in the future. The kudu’s condition stays a mystery as they are rarely sighted but often travel across farm borders as shown in figure 1B but will have no problem surviving on the farm due to the large variety of food sources available to them. The bushbuck can live in many different habitats and therefore can survive easily due to the large variety of food available to them and their adaptation to hide from predators using stealth.

Self-Reflection

This task has led me to learn a lot about the skills needed to manage a game farm and all the factors that are a threat to wildlife. I have also come to know the farm better in all my expeditions and travels to the farm and with this knowledge, I can help the farm owner in further management of the game farm and possibly the development of the farm in years to come. I have learned that animals may not always act according to popular beliefs or knowledge as they may adapt to specific biomes, climates, and topography. I have also learned that visual recording of animal species can prove to be difficult as they are shy and well adapted to camouflage in their surroundings but could be made simpler but more costly with the use of a drone, fixed cameras, or satellite imagery. This knowledge will always stay with me as I continue into a career path in ecology which will require this knowledge to achieve greatness.

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Factors Influencing Antelope Population. (2022, Apr 28). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/factors-influencing-antelope-population-2/

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