In South Africa most wildlife reserves are managed. Unambiguously stated goals are required if management is to be successful. The primary biological purpose of a reserve is proposed to be to maintain storehouses of dynamic genetic material. To perpetuate this dynamic resource, species-and communities-diversity must be managed to meet the minimum condition required to preserve soil. Land-units must be identified, and for each, a permissible range in vegetal cover and proportional species composition must be specified. Available data suggest that species-diversity is maximal where an agriculturally derived veld condition rating is fair to good. Fire and the number and proportions of different kinds of hoofed animals affect species-composition, vegetal cover and therefore veld condition, and therefore require control. A means of measuring the success of management is outlined.
Keywords: condition; cover; fire; game reserves; genetic diversity; goals; management; management strategy; nature reserves; range; reserves; soil; south africa; species composition; species diversity; veld; veld condition; wildlife