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Direct greenhouse gas emissions of the game industry in South Africa

CJL du Toit
HH Meissner
WA van Niekerk


Previous greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories did not include game as an emissions source. Recently game farming has become a recognized  commercial enterprise in the agricultural sector in South Africa, contributing approximately R10 billion to the sectorial gross domestic product. The objective of this study was to estimate methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from privately owned game animals based on  international recognized methodologies. The emissions were calculated on the basis of a large stock unit (LSU) selecting different quality diets. Daily enteric methane emissions were estimated as 0.28, 0.22, and 0.18 kg CH4/LSU/day consuming diets of 55%, 65% and 75% digestibility,  respectively. The game industry contributed an estimated 131.9 Giga grams (Gg) of methane annually to agricultural emissions with the  provinces of Limpopo, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape being the three largest contributors with 43.4, 37.3 and 21 Gg methane, respectively. The total privately owned game population was estimated at 299 1370  animals, utilizing 20.5 million hectares.

Keywords: Methane, nitrous oxide, wildlife, emission factors

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2221-4062
print ISSN: 0375-1589