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Current Population Status of the Endangered Endemic Subspecies of Swayne’s Hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus swaynei) in Maze National Park, Ethiopia

W Tekalign, A Bekele

Abstract


A study on current population status,  sex ratio and age structures of Swayne’s hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus swaynei) was carried out during 2009/2010 in Maze National Park. Total count method was used in an area of 220 km2 using well trained park scouts based on silent detection. There were 372 individuals counted. The population trend indicates that there is a significant increase in the number of Swayne’s hartebeest population in Maze National Park at present. The sex ratio of adult males to adult females and young to adult females was 1:1.4 and 1:2.2, respectively. There is no significant difference between the sex ratio of males and females whereas there is a significant difference between young and adult females. Group size of Swayne’s hartebeest varied from solitary individuals to a maximum of 27. The difference among the groups is not significant. More solitary adult males were observed than solitary adult females. Swayne hartebeests were more associated with grassland with scattered trees (54%) than other three habitat types of the area, savannah grassland, bushland and riverine forest. There were no significant differences among the association of habitat types. Hartebeests were more associated to oribi (68%) than other ungulate species. There is an urgent need for further study to evaluate the actual threat of the endangered endemic subspecies of Swayne's hartebeests in Maze National Park.





SINET: Ethiopian Journal of Science.   ISSN: 0379-2897