The Habitat Preference of Hartebeest Antelopes (Alcelaphus buselaphus) in Bouba- ndjidda National Park, North Region, Cameroon
The availability of preferred habitat determines the spatial and temporal distribution of herbivores in savanna woodland ecosystems. Understanding habitat preference of a targeted wildlife species is crucial for developing effective management strategies. Hence, the objective of this study was to examine the importance of various habitats to the hartebeest population in the national park. Research data was collected on animal group activity through observation. The observed animal group activity was recorded on check-sheets alongside some ecological parameters. The survey showed a significance between the antelope-group size and behavior X2=5.441 df=3, P<0.05. Nonetheless, the survey witnessed animal group size ranging from 1-5 (22%) and 6-10 (78%) respectively. More so, antelope’s movement recorded a significant activity 70% compared to feeding 20%, rest 7% and drinking 4% respectively. There was a significance between antelope group behavior and vegetation X2=9.723 df=6, P<0.05. Three vegetation types were considered during this study, grassland 48%, shrub-land 45%, and forest patches 7% respectively. This study observed the hartebeest antelopes feeding on grass vegetation 93% and lower branches of shrubs 7% due to their large body sizes. Also, there was a significance between landscape and hartebeest-group behavior X2=34.371 df=9, P<0.05. Antelope-group behavior was predominantly recorded in flat landscape areas 55% than slope 30%, hill 11%, and flood plains 4% respectively. Furthermore, landscape recorded a significance on vegetation types X2=3.332 df=6, P<0.05. Bouba ndjidda national park is rich in wildlife population such as antelopes; hence, more study is needed to be done to understand the population dynamics and behavior of the hartebeest antelopes. Unfortunately, the wildlife population in the national park does not have a rich database research reference compare to other national parks in sub Saharan Africa region.
Melle Ekane Maurice*, Kamgang Serge Alex, Ewane Divine, Kamah Pascal Bumtu, Mbole Veronique, Esong Lionel Ebong