[botswanapredatorforum] Conservation Researchers in Botswana Presents Hattie Bartlam talking on her Zebra Migration Research at HOORC

  • From: Kevin MacFarlane <kalaharilionresearch@xxxxxxxxx>
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  • Date: Wed, 09 Mar 2011 12:45:09 +0200

If you haven't heard the details of Hattie's fantastic findings on the regaining of an old zebra migration route that no-one knew had existed, then read this!

Over the last few years Hattie has been observing remarkable behaviour in zebra, and I've found several aspects of her findings and methods quite astounding. This Friday the 11th of March, at 2pm Hattie will be providing a special presentation of her findings for researchers in Botswana, at the Okavango Research Centre. I encourage anyone who is available to come down and listen, with your chance to ask some questions in true seminar style. This will also be another opportunity to meet with other researchers in the same boat. Spaces are very limited, so please RSVP to me at 7507 3881 or return email, or run the risk of being turned back after the long trip out there!

Here is the abstract of the paper which will form the major part of the seminar Hattie will present.

Will reconnecting ecosystems allow long-distance mammal migrations to
resume? A case study of a zebra Equus burchelli migration in Botswana

Abstract: Terrestrial wildlife migrations, once common, are now rare
because of ecosystem fragmentation and uncontrolled hunting. Botswana
historically contained migratory populations of many species; however,
habitat fragmentation, especially by fences, has decreased the number and
size of many of these populations. During a study investigating herbivore
movement patterns in north-west Botswana we recorded a long-distance zebra
(Equus burchelli antiquorum) migration between the Okavango Delta and
Makgadikgadi grasslands, a round-trip distance of 588 km; 55% of 11
animals collared in the south-eastern peripheral delta made this journey.
This was unexpected as, between 1968 and 2004, the migration could not
have followed its present course because of bisection of the route by a
veterinary cordon fence. As little evidence exists to suggest that
large-scale movements by medium-sized herbivores can be restored, it is of
significant interest that this migration was established to the present
highly directed route within 4 years of the fence being removed. The
success of wildlife corridors, currently being advocated as the best way
to re-establish ecosystem connectivity, relies on animals utilizing novel
areas by moving between the connected areas. Our findings suggest that
medium-sized herbivores may be able to re-establish migrations relatively
quickly once physical barriers have been removed and that the success of
future system linkages could be increased by utilizing past migratory

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  • » [botswanapredatorforum] Conservation Researchers in Botswana Presents Hattie Bartlam talking on her Zebra Migration Research at HOORC - Kevin MacFarlane