We studied microhabitat use by black-faced impala in different herd types during the rut in the cold dry seasons of 2001 and 2002 in the Etosha National Park, Namibia. We investigated whether black-faced impala select feeding sites consistently for their microhabitat characteristics in 2 vegetation types, Karstveld and Tamboti Woodland. We also investigated intra-population differences in microhabitat use between herds of different types. In both habitats, sites used by impala for feeding were more likely to be in the shade, within 2 m of the edges of wooded areas and grassy clearings, with high visibility at 1 m height, and with lower grass swords than nearby nonfeeding sites. In Karstveld, feeding sites of impala were also located closer to the nearest shrub than were nonfeeding sites. A degree of fine-scale sexual segregation in microhabitat use was demonstrated, but it was not consistent across habitats. Incorporating these trends in the microhabitat use of black-faced impala into management decisions should maximize the success of small populations released at selected off-park sites.
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Vol. 69 • No. 4