Influence of density on the seasonal utilization of broad grassland types by white rhinoceroses

  • Adrian M. Shrader
  • Michael R. Perrin
Keywords: herbivore density, habitat utilization, white rhinoceros.


We monitored seasonal use of grassland types by white rhinos at two sites within the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park (HiP). Thirty-two rhinos were removed from one site to reduce  rhino density. Seasonal use of grassland types was similar at both sites, but differed to what a previous study reported. This was likely due to higher food availability during our study, coupled with lower white rhino density. These findings suggest that during high  rainfall years, white rhinos at a density of 3/km2 will not overutilize food in the park. Dispersal, initiated by declining food resources, is used to manage white rhino  population size in HiP. We suggest that during high rainfall years it is unlikely that  dispersal rates will increase. The impact that a similar density would have on food availability and dispersal during low rainfall years is uncertain.

Key words: herbivore density, habitat utilization, white rhinoceros.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2224-073X
print ISSN: 1562-7020