We studied the population dynamics of endangered mountain nyala Tragelaphus buxtoni between 2003-2005 in the Bale Mountains National Park. Line-transect sampling and total count methods were used to gather data on demographics and movement patterns. The population's age-group composition was 58% adults, 25% sub-adults, 9% juveniles, 5% calves and 3% unidentified with a female-male sex ratio of 2:1. Population density was found to be significantly different between the two sub-populations (Dinsho Sanctuary and Gaysay/Adelay). A significant difference was found for age-group composition across the two sub-populations except adult females, sub-adult males and calves. The Dinsho sub-population was an isolated group. Separation and containment of the mountain nyala population could have negatively affected their ability to search for habitat requirements and mates from distant areas. The population varied between 830-908 individuals (95% CI), a reduction of 45% from earlier reports. However, the mean population density increased due to contraction of the species' habitat range. We observed a population decrease of 2%-5% per year over the course of our study. Many of the assessed demographic parameters did not significantly change over the three years. This suggests that the decrease in nyala population was not due to random variations in reproduction. Anthropogenic factors such as competition with livestock for forage, habitat encroachment and poaching by the local people might have been partly responsible for the depleted population in our study areas.
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2010|
- group size
- mountain nyala
- sex ratio