Conservation of the puku antelope (Kobus vardoni, Livingstone) in the Kilombero Valley, Tanzania

Richard Jenkins

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    Although there are populations of puku antelope Kobus vardoni (Livingstone) scattered throughout eastern and central Africa, it is estimated that 75% of the total population is now restricted to the Kilombero Valley, Tanzania. The Kilombero Valley is an area rich in agricultural potential and natural resources; wildlife populations are also high and the inner valley is a Game Controlled Area, although this only provides limited protection. Aerial surveys during the 1989, 1994 and 1998 dry seasons showed the puku population to be stable at around 50000-60000 animals. Livestock populations fluctuated, but increased from 17309 +/- 6487 to 54047 +\- 17247 over the same period. Signs of human activity (e. g. huts, fields and livestock) were highest around the edge of the Game Controlled Area, indicating intense pressure on 'boundary-zone' habitats at the floodplain-woodland interface. Puku use 'boundary-zone' habitats during the wet season when large areas of grassland are flooded. Potential threats to the puku population are therefore likely due to habitat degradation through over-grazing by domestic herbivores, agricultural encroachment, and the expansion of human settlements. Licensed trophy hunting probably has a negligible impact on puku because of very low off-take, but illegal hunting represents a serious threat near human settlements during the wet season and in accessible parts of the floodplain during the dry season.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)787-797
    Number of pages10
    JournalBiodiversity and Conservation
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


    • antelope conservation
    • floodplain
    • illegal hunting
    • Kilombero
    • Kobus
    • puku
    • Tanzania
    • wetland
    • ZAMBIA


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