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1 October 2009 Two Unsuccessful Reintroduction Attempts of Rock Hyraxes (Procavia capensis) into a Reserve in the KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa
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Abstract
Rock hyraxes (Procavia capensis) are categorized as ‘Least Concern’ in the 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. In South Africa they were once listed as vermin in the old Cape Province due to their high population numbers and Impact on grazing. However, about 10 years ago, populations in the KwaZulu-Natal province became locally extinct. This resulted in the recent reintroductions of rock hyraxes, purchased at annual wildlife auctions in the province. Success of these reintroductions was unknown as there had been no post-release monitoring. This study determined the success of reintroducing rock hyraxes, using two source populations, namely rock hyraxes that had been in captivity for 16 months (n = 17) and those from the wild (n = 9). Captive rock hyraxes did not have site fidelity after release and after three months could not be found. All wild rock hyraxes, except one whose fate is unknown, were found dead within 18 days of release. One had an accidental death while the rest were preyed upon. In conclusion, the reintroduction of captive and wild rock hyraxes likely failed due to predation. This may have been a consequence of group disintegration, probably as a result of incorrect group composition, captive stress, and type of release. Suggestions to improve the success of future rock hyrax reintroductions are provided.
Kirsten Wimberger, Colleen T. Downs and Mike R. Perrin "Two Unsuccessful Reintroduction Attempts of Rock Hyraxes (Procavia capensis) into a Reserve in the KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa," South African Journal of Wildlife Research 39(2), (1 October 2009). https://doi.org/10.3957/056.039.0213
Received: 21 November 2008; Accepted: 1 September 2009; Published: 1 October 2009
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