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Habitat-preference in South African antelope species and its significance in natural and artificial distribution patterns

U. De V. Pienaar

Koedoe; Vol 17, No 1 (1974), 185-195. doi: 10.4102/koedoe.v17i1.909

Submitted: 28 July 1974
Published:  28 July 1974


The unequal distribution of species is due to

different environmental conditions of the various regions of the globe. The environmental factors governing the occurrence, distribution and abundance of large herbivorous mammals may be divided into physical, historical and biotic. Vegetation is all-important in herbivore biology as it provides habitat, cover and food. Many of the distribution patterns and structural attributes of species are associated with living in and utilizing particular vegetation zones. Africa has an enormous diversity of habitats and animal species utilizing these habitats. An attempt is made to characterize the patterns of habitat preference of South African antelope species and the significance of the habitat requirements of the individual species is discussed in thelight of natural and artificial distribution patterns. It is stressed that artificial introduction of species without prior knowledge of the habitat requirements of such species may lead to disastrous consequences.

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