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Mammalia

Editor-in-Chief: Denys, Christiane

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Volume 81, Issue 5 (Aug 2017)

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Effect of supplementary feeding on the social behaviour and distribution patterns of free-ranging southern white rhinoceros

Ivana Cinková
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Zoology and Laboratory of Ornithology, Faculty of Science, Palacký University, 17. listopadu 50, 771 46 Olomouc, Czech Republic
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Udo Ganslosser
  • Zoologisches Institut und Museum, Johann Sebastian Bach-Str 11/12, 17 489 Greifswald, Germany; and Institut für Spezielle Zoologie und Evolutionsbiologie, Erbertstr 1, 07743 Jena, Germany
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Petra Kretzschmar
  • Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Alfred-Kowalke-Str. 17, 10315 Berlin, Germany
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  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2016-11-12 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mammalia-2016-0016

Abstract

An increasing number of free-ranging southern white rhinos (Ceratotherium simum Burchell 1817) live in fenced and intensively managed reserves. They are often kept in small populations and depend on supplementary feeding in the dry season, which can influence their behaviour and distribution. We studied the distribution and social behaviour of free-ranging southern white rhinos in two smaller reserves in South Africa. In the first reserve, the rhinos (n=13) were supplementary-fed while in the second one, the rhinos (n=8) depended on natural grazing. Following the start of supplementary feeding in the first reserve, the rhinos changed their distribution and concentrated in areas around the feeding places. We observed (79 h of observation) the social behaviour of rhinos at places, where they frequently gathered and the agonistic interactions between them were significantly more frequent at the feeding places (in the first reserve) than at the natural grazing and resting area (in the second reserve). A sufficient number of feeding places and especially their good dispersion could help decrease the agonistic behaviour. Knowledge of the social behaviour of free-ranging rhinos at potentially competitive places in smaller reserves can also be very valuable for better understanding of behaviour of captive animals.

Keywords: agonistic behaviour; reserve management; social behaviour; southern white rhinoceros; supplementary feeding

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About the article

Received: 2016-01-26

Accepted: 2016-09-30

Published Online: 2016-11-12

Published in Print: 2017-08-28


Citation Information: Mammalia, ISSN (Online) 1864-1547, ISSN (Print) 0025-1461, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mammalia-2016-0016.

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