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Density, distribution and feeding strategies of roan antelope (<i>Hippotragus equinus</i>) in Borgu sector of Kainji Lake National Park, Nigeria

OT Aremu


The study examined the density, distribution, food and biomass of Hippotragus equinus in the Borgu sector of Kainji Lake National Park. Six 4 km 4 km transects were constructed in the six identified vegetation communities in the Park. The transects were traversed twice a month for 12 months. Estimates were based on direct censusing techniques only. The results showed that a total of 26 groups of H. equinus, representing 308 individuals, were sighted in the Borgu sector of the Park. Riparian forest and woodland habitat harbour the highest population of nine groups of H. equinus. Subadult females constituted the highest H. equinus population structure in dry and wet seasons, with 29. 7 and 25.4 per cent of the population, respectively. Hippotragus equinus biomass in the park ranged between 5.8 and 60.1 kg km-2, and population counts varied significantly (P < 0.05) between dry and wet seasons and between each habitat in the Park. Fourteen plant species are used for food by H. equinus in the Park, including Andropogon gayanus, A. schirensis, A. tectorum, Hyparrhenia rufa, H. dissoluta, H. diplandra and H. cyanescens. Their percentage crude protein and fat ranged between 4.8 and 8.8, and between 4.7 and 18.9, respectively. Measures to sustain the existing population of H. equinus in the Park are also discussed.

Ghana Journal of Science Vol. 44, 2004: 39-45

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eISSN: 0855-1448
print ISSN: 0016-9544