Abiotic and Anthropogenic Factors Affecting the Distribution of Four Sympatric Large Herbivores on the Mole National Park, Ghana
The impact of abiotic and anthropogenic factors on the distributions of buffalo (Syncerus caffer), hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus), roan antelope (Hippotragus equinus) and waterbuck (Kobus defassa) at Mole National Park was assessed by transect survey. Generalized linear mixed effects logistic regression was used to model mammal presence/absence as a function of ecological factors. Hartebeest inhabited highlands and avoided floodplains but buffalo and roan avoided floodplains by selecting both lowlands and highlands while waterbuck inhabited lowlands but not necessarily the floodplains. Fire, water availability and anthropogenic activities were limiting factors, which constrained habitat use to make some areas unexplored for foraging. Buffalo, roan and hartebeest did not inhabit areas close to the park’s boundaries. Herbivores need optimal environment almost free of constraints to construct their distribution patterns. Therefore, management should address the problems identified in this study to ensure the herbivores’ redistribution to maximise their use of resources for their effective conservation.