oa South African Journal of Wildlife Research - Space use by a reintroduced serval in Mount Currie Nature Reserve

Volume 32, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2410-7220
  • E-ISSN: 2410-8200



There are few quantified observations of carnivores reintroduced into the wild. However, such observations are important in order to develop a better understanding of the feasibility of reintroductions. In this study radiotelemetry was used to study the movements of young servals reintroduced into a nature reserve in the midlands of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Of the two introduced servals, a female left the reserve, which contained a high prey density of rodents, to establish the core of her home range in intensively used farmland. the servals (a male and a female) showed significantly more locomotory activity at night than during the day, and preferred riverine and vlei habitats to grassland. Estimates of home range size varied from 2.99 km2 (minimum convex polygon), to 6.27 km2 (bivariate ellipse), to 9.35 km2 (harmonic mean), according to the method of data analysis. After a second relocation, the female returned to an area of rural human settlement, which suggested some degree of habituation. It was able to survive natural environmental conditions, forage for food, and establish regular activity and space use patterns. the consequences for future reintroduction attempts are discussed.

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