14. Cascading Effects on Smaller Mammals and Gallinaceous Birds of Elephant Impacts on Vegetation Structure

  1. Christina Skarpe,
  2. Johan T. du Toit and
  3. Stein R. Moe
  1. Sigbjørn Stokke1,
  2. Sekgowa S. Motsumi2,3,
  3. Thato B. Sejoe4,5 and
  4. Jon E. Swenson6,7

Published Online: 4 APR 2014

DOI: 10.1002/9781118858615.ch14

Elephants and Savanna Woodland Ecosystems: A Study from Chobe National Park, Botswana

Elephants and Savanna Woodland Ecosystems: A Study from Chobe National Park, Botswana

How to Cite

Stokke, S., Motsumi, S. S., Sejoe, T. B. and Swenson, J. E. (2014) Cascading Effects on Smaller Mammals and Gallinaceous Birds of Elephant Impacts on Vegetation Structure, in Elephants and Savanna Woodland Ecosystems: A Study from Chobe National Park, Botswana (eds C. Skarpe, J. T. du Toit and S. R. Moe), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118858615.ch14

Author Information

  1. 1

    Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Norway

  2. 2

    Department of International Environment and Development Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway

  3. 3

    Department of Environmental Affairs, Botswana

  4. 4

    Department of International Environment and Development Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway

  5. 5

    PO Box 1826, Gaborone, Botswana

  6. 6

    Department of Ecology and Natural Resource Management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway

  7. 7

    Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Norway

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 APR 2014
  2. Published Print: 1 APR 2014

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470671764

Online ISBN: 9781118858615

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Keywords:

  • Chobe National Park;
  • elephants;
  • gallinaceous birds;
  • high-density habitats;
  • medium-sized mammals;
  • smaller mammals;
  • vegetation structure

Summary

The elephant Loxodonta africana population in Botswana has been increasing steadily since the 1930s as a result of protection and the conservation of habitats. The main objective of study discussed in this chapter is to determine habitat selection by medium- and small-sized mammals, and gallinaceous birds (families Phasianidae and Numididae), in northern Chobe National Park, especially in relation to the long-term impacts that elephants have had on the vegetation structure. The study is based on the vegetation types identified and mapped by Skarpe et al.: seasonally flooded floodplain (called ‘floodplain’), Capparis shrubland, Combretum shrubland, mixed Baikiaea woodland, and Baikiaea woodland. The study suggest that small- and medium-sized mammals and gallinaceous birds generally may have benefitted from the impacts of elephants and other large herbivores on the vegetation, principally through increasing the shrubland habitats that most of these species prefer.