oa African Journal of Wildlife Research - Challenges managing herbivores in the contractual Postberg section of West Coast National Park

Volume 45, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2410-7220
  • E-ISSN: 2410-8200



A key concern for South African National Parks, within contractual park areas, is habitat degradation associated with large herbivore disturbances, especially when these include extralimital species. We used a mechanistic framework to bring contrasting views together for better interactions between West Coast National Park management and stakeholders. We modelled mammal population dynamics and used a risk-benefit analysis of contrasting management scenarios to identify the most suitable scenario given the complexity of objectives for West Coast National Park. Given the parks' dependence on annual flower displays to generate income and the ecological disturbance this requires, removing herbivore species that occurred outside their native range, removing fences, and reducing indigenous herbivore numbers was the most suitable scenario. We suggest that managers could use dynamic herbivore management models to guide them in achieving the suite of objectives they are tasked with. Our methods could be applied elsewhere to guide processes seeking to address complex challenges in modern environmental conservation.

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