The nutritive status of wildebeest was assessed using visual condition ratings, kidney fat, bone marrow and blood plasma as indicators of nutritional stress. Visual physical ratings showed that 78% of wildebeest were in good to excellent condition. This was confirmed by the kidney fat index. Thirteen out of 20 wildebeest had a bone marrow fat level above 80%. Nine blood parameters were measured, confirming that nutritive levels were normal, except for inorganic phosphorus which was marginally deficient. Similarly, liver analyses showed low phosphorus levels and suggested that copper add cobalt may also have been marginally deficient. Nevertheless, nutritive levels were sufficiently high to discount nutrition as being limiting to the population.
The total demand of energy and protein by six large herbivore species, namely blue wildebeest, Burchell's zebra, springbok, gemsbok, red hartebeest, and ostrich was balanced against critical nutrients as well as against the measured usage.
The evolutionary time span required to produce specialist grazers such as wildebeest is considered in relation to the effect on the species of rapid, man-induced changes in Etosha such as fencing, constructed water points and abnormal levels of disease and predation. Basic environmental requirements for a viable wildebeest population are examined and related to the situation presently existing in Etosha.
Short notes are given on 37 species or fish collected from the northernmost part of the Skeleton Coast Park. The majority of the fish were of Atlantic warm water origin, with a smaller number of southern African endemics. Of the 37 species. eight were cartilaginous fish and 29 teleosts. Of the latter, 19 were collected in the sea, six from the Kunene River mouth, and four from both habitats.