oa African Zoology - Short communications : aspects of habitat disturbance by Cape porcupines in a savanna ecosystem

Volume 29, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X



Habitat disturbances by Cape porcupines (Hystrix africaeaustralis) in a savanna ecosystem were investigated at Nylsvley Nature Reserve by using transect line surveys for signs of porcupine foraging activities. The density of foraging diggings was significantly higher in Burkea savanna than in Acacia savanna. A significantly higher proportion of trees was debarked in Burkea and rocky outcrop savanna than in Acacia savanna. The only two species which were preferentially debarked were dominant species in the former two habitat types. Significantly more trees had roots gnawed on by porcupines in Burkea savanna than elsewhere, and the species most affected (Burkea african a) was a dominant species in this habitat type. Concentrated feeding activities in Burkea and rocky outcrop savanna by porcupines may affect the structure of these plant communities.

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