Bontebok National Park was established to protect the bontebok from extinction and more recently a small herd of Cape mountain zebra was also introduced into the park. Although the latter were introduced into the park to facilitate the grazing of bontebok and thereby reduce the use of fire by park management, recent work suggests that these ungulates compete for recently burnt veld. This work, however, was done at a relatively broad scale, while we used counts of bontebok and mountain zebra dung groups to assess the habitat use of these ungulates at a finer scale. In our analysis we stratified the study area according to vegetation type, veld age and fire history. Our results suggest that bontebok are more closely associated with burnt veld than mountain zebra and that both favour the Drainage Line and Kraal Lawn vegetation types over the other vegetation types in the park. The importance of these vegetation types has previously been overlooked and should be included in future monitoring of herbivore habitat use.
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Vol. 41 • No. 2