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Title: DISTRIBUTION, POPULATION STATUS AND DIURNAL ACTIVITY PATTERN OF BURCHELL’S ZEBRA (Equus burchelli , Gray, 1824) IN YABELLO WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, SOUTHERN ETHIOPIA
Authors: RETA, REGASSA
Advisors: Dr. Solomon Yirga
Keywords: Dry land Biodiversity
Copyright: Jun-2010
Date Added: 30-Apr-2012
Publisher: AAU
Abstract: A study on the distribution, population status, and diurnal activity pattern of Burchell’s zebra (Equus burchelli, Gray, 1824) was carried out in the Yabello Wildlife Sanctuary, Southern Ethiopia during October, 2009 – March, 2010 including wet and dry seasons. Distance sampling line-transect counting method was used to estimate the population status of Burchell’s zebra in the study area. The objectives of the study were to provide information on distribution, population status and diurnal activity pattern of Burchell’s zebra in Yabello Wildlife Sanctuary. Data were analyzed using SPSS computer soft ware package and compared using one-way ANOVA, t-test, Tukey multiple comparison test and paired t-test to see differences in seasonal and hourly time budget. The sex ratio of adult male to adult female was 1.00:1.27. Group size changed seasonally. The mean average group size was 12.5. Burchell’s zebras are mainly grazers. The group composition of the animal varied with season, forming large herds during the wet season and dispersing in to smaller groups during the dry season. The average herd sizes of one male harem and bachelor stallion herd’s were 7.8 and 5.3, respectively. The sex structure of Burchell’s zebras was adult male 34.5%, adult female 43.7% and young unknown sex 21.84%. Age composition of Burchell’s zebra comprised 78.2% adult, 13.0% sub-adult, 5.3 % juvenile and 3.5% foal. The age ratio of adult to young was 1:0.25 and 1: 0.32 during dry and wet seasons respectively. There was no significant difference in the age ratio observed during wet and dry seasons (P > 0.05). On average, 78.2% of the total population was adults and only 21.8 % constituted young. The diurnal activity pattern of the animal follows the general pattern of ungulates in the Yabello Wildlife Sanctuary, characterized by morning and evening activity peaks with a period of rest in the middle of the day. Distribution and vegetation utilization of the animal showed a marked preference for open grassland habitat. However, there was a seasonal change in the preference of habitat. The main threats of Burchell’s zebras in the study are livestock grazing, habitat destruction and disturbances, bush encroachment, poaching and termite mount. The study recommends an effective and realistic management policy to control illegal human settlement and farming activities in the sanctuary. Keywords: Activity pattern, Burchell’s zebra, distribution, habitat preference, population status, threat, Yabello Sanctuary.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/2015
Appears in:Thesis - Biology

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