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11 May 2023 An Assessment of the Medium-Term Reproductive Success of an Extralimital White Rhinoceros Population
Anja Truter, Nokubonga Mgqatsa, Daniel M Parker
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The white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) is threatened primarily due to continued poaching for its horns. In South Africa, partly to promote the conservation of the species, white rhinos have been introduced into areas where they did not occur historically (i.e. where they are considered extralimital). Few studies have investigated the conservation contribution of extralimital white rhinos to the overall national herd. We aimed to determine whether the white rhinos introduced to a private game reserve in the Eastern Cape province have been successful from a reproductive perspective. We calculated inter-calving intervals, age at first calving, sex ratios of calves, and recruitment rates for white rhinos at a single site between 1992 and 2019. The average net annual population growth rate for the population was 10%, which is higher than the recommended 5% by the Biodiversity Management Plan for white rhinos. Trends in density-dependent parameters such as age at first calving and inter-calving intervals also indicated that the study population is still well below the density at which ecological constraints may manifest. We demonstrate that an extralimital white rhino population in the Eastern Cape can be successful from a reproductive perspective.

Anja Truter, Nokubonga Mgqatsa, and Daniel M Parker "An Assessment of the Medium-Term Reproductive Success of an Extralimital White Rhinoceros Population," African Zoology 57(3), 145-153, (11 May 2023).
Received: 10 June 2022; Accepted: 29 September 2022; Published: 11 May 2023
Ceratotherium simum
growth rate
life history
population dynamics
white rhino
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