oa African Zoology - Factors affecting the seasonal movements of Cape mountain zebras in the Mountain Zebra National Park

Volume 23, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X



Factors underlying the movement of mountain zebras from a plateau in the summer to hill slopes and ravines in the winter were investigated. The movement was associated with a relative change in diet quality (as indicated by crude protein contents of preferred food plants and of the faeces) between the summer and winter habitats. In summer faecal and grass protein contents were higher in samples collected on the plateau than in those collected on the hill slopes. In the winter the reverse was the case. On the plateau the cover of grasses in the height range favoured by zebras changed only slightly from summer to winter. It thus seemed unlikely that the movement of zebras was caused by a seasonal change in the height structure of the grass sward. The diet comprised mostly grasses but traces of dicotyledons in the faeces were found more frequently during winter than summer.

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