African Journal of Range and Forage Science

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Management goals for wildlife reserves in grassveld and bushveld.

Mentis M.T., Collinson R.F.H.


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

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