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Vu, Emy, 2018. Consequences of white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) poaching on grassland structure in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in South Africa. Second cycle, A2E. Umeå: SLU, Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies



The megaherbivore white rhinoceros plays a vital role in African savannah ecosystem, where it affects the grassland through heavy grazing and creates a mosaic grassland varying in structure. Illegal removal of the white rhinoceros has dramatically increased, and led to a decrease of white rhinoceros’ population density. My aim is to examine whether their illegal removal influences grassland structure, and whether this may affect habitat use of other species. The research was conducted in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in South Africa, where I performed a correlative study on two scales, landscape and local. I quantified grassland structure, and the result showed that the white rhinoceros shaped grassland structure. The density of herbivores tended to decrease with higher altitude. No significance difference in grassland structure was found on a local scale, due to the lack of hotspots, i.e. middens and termite mounds, found along the transects. I conclude that there is variation in grassland biomass and distribution of dung of different herb’s, and I also observed fewer hotspots in high poaching areas. In the future, it is crucial to get to the root of the illegal removal and to act towards a non-poaching environment, or else the white rhinoceros can go extinct.

Main title:Consequences of white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) poaching on grassland structure in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in South Africa
Authors:Vu, Emy
Supervisor:Cromsigt, Joris and te Beest, Marika and le Roux, Elizabeth
Examiner:Ball, John P
Series:Examensarbete / SLU, Institutionen för vilt, fisk och miljö
Volume/Sequential designation:2018:11
Year of Publication:2018
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:SM003 Management of Fish and Wildlife Populations - Master's Programme 120 HEC
Supervising department:(S) > Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
Keywords:white rhinoceros, South Africa, Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park, poaching, African savannah, herbivore, wildlife
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Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Animal ecology
Nature conservation and land resources
Deposited On:20 Nov 2018 09:07
Metadata Last Modified:20 Nov 2019 00:15

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