A simple index of habitat suitability for Cape mountain zebras

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Abstract

An index of habitat suitability for Equus zebra zebra was calculated using two parameters: acceptability indices for different grass species, and the aerial cover of the grass species in the habitat. The index was tested by calculating its value for a range of different habitat patches and comparing this with the frequency of use of the patches by zebras. The close relationship between the index and the observed frequency of use verified that the index could be used as a guide to habitat suitability. Two methods were used to determine the frequency of use of the patches: counts of faecal pellet groups and frequency of sightings. Both methods yielded similar results but the pellet group counts were less time-consuming and expensive. The index of habitat suitability should be used 1) as a parameter for monitoring of long-term changes in habitat stability in the Mountain Zebra National Park, and 2) as a guide for selecting appropriate areas to re-introduce mountain zebras. -Authors

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Novellie, P., & Winkler, A. (1993). A simple index of habitat suitability for Cape mountain zebras. Koedoe, 36(2), 53–59. https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v36i2.374

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