PROGRAMME TO INTRODUCE PREDATORS TO SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL PARK PROVES SUCCESSFUL

PORT ELIZABETH, A programme to introduce predators into the Mountain Zebra National Park in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province is proving to be highly successful and the park now boasts of having three of the Big Five.

The park, located some 270 kilometres north of here, now has seven lions which were brought there in 2013, as well as four cheetahs which were introduced in 2008 and a number of buffaloes which are the first ones to roam the park. The other two members of the Big Five are the elephant and rhinoceros.

These animals were indigenous to the area before the park was even established.

Park manager Megan Taplin says that they have now been brought back to sustain the biodiversity of the area.

The introduction of predators has helped us keep the numbers (of other animals) down. Populations like black wildebeest, we have had to translocate them out here, so it helps with keeping their numbers down,” he said.

“We managed it very closely by monitoring what they’re feeding on and what impact they have on certain prey species. For now, its fine; we have (only) a small group of lions.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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