Daily activity patterns of ungulates at water holes during the dry season in the Waterberg National Park, Namibia
Kasiringua E., Kopij G., Procheş Ş.
In this study, daily drinking activity of all 12 herbivore species were conducted in the dry season at seven waterholes in the Waterberg National Park, Namibia, where only leopard Panthera pardus was present as a large carnivore. Drinking was more frequent between 15h00 and 22h00 than in the rest of the day. A conspicuous peak in drinking activity was in the evening between 18h00 and 19h00, when 15% of animals were recorded drinking water. Water holes had various frequency of attendance by particular ungulate species. Eland Tragelaphus oryx and buffalo Syncerus caffer were most frequently recorded species at water holes, comprising together almost half of all ungulates recorded. The kudu Tragelaphus strepsiceros, roan Hippotragus equinus, sable antelope Hippotragus niger and warthog Phacochoerus africanus were also in the group of water-dependent species (comprising together at water holes 41.2% of all animals recorded). Four groups of ungulates may be distinguished in the Waterberg National Park based on their daily drinking activity patterns: 1) evening and night drinkers: white rhino Ceratotherium simum, black rhino Diceros bicornis and buffalo (i.e., those free of leopard predation risk); 2) night and morning drinkers: eland, gemsbok Oryx gazella and kudu (i.e. those with limited leopard predation risk); 3) day drinkers: warthog, giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis, roan, sable antelope, red hartebeest Alcephalus buselaphus (high leopard predation risk); 4) whole day and night drinkers: dik-dik Madoqua kirkii, steenbok Raphicerus campestris, common duiker Sylvicapra grimmia. Most animals drinking during the night were more active in the first half (18h00–24h00) than in the second half (24h00–6h00) of the night.DOI: 10.15298/rusjtheriol.16.2.02
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