The research project was conducted within two separate study areas. The main research project was conducted in the Khamab Kalahari Nature Reserve (KKNR) in the North West Province of South Africa. The main research project only commenced after the completion of a preliminary study that was conducted on the Woodland Hills Wildlife Estate in the Free State Province of South Africa.Little is known of the environmental impacts on giraffe in this ecological region, and concern has been expressed regarding population numbers declining in KKNR.
The first objective of the research project was to develop and design efficient and safe GPS collars for giraffes. During a second phase of the study, a giraffe population in KKNR was studied with the objective of assessing their habitat selection and spatial ecology as influenced by season, habitat resources and plant species composition. The diet selection of giraffe in relation to browse availability, and changes in daily activities over seasons were also studied. The final objective of the study was to establish management guidelines for giraffe in arid regions to ensure sustainability and to aid in future decisions to promote population growth amongst other sub-species in the rest of Africa.
Keywords: Diet Selection, habitat preference, Southern giraffe, Kalahari, spatial ecology
Author: Francois Deacon
Journal: PhD Thesis