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Home range and habitat use by cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) in the Kruger National Park

Authors

  • L. S. Broomhall,

    Corresponding author
    1. Mammal Research Institute, Department of Zoology & Entomology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, 0002, South Africa
      *L. S. Broomhall School of Life & Environmental Sciences, George Campbell Building, University of Natal, Durban 4041, South Africa. E-mail: l_broomhall@hotmail.com
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  • M. G. L. Mills,

    1. Mammal Research Institute, Department of Zoology & Entomology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, 0002, South Africa
    2. South African National Park, Private Bag X402, Skukuza, 1350, South Africa
    3. Endangered Wildlife trust, Private Bag X11, Parkview, 2122, South Africa
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  • J. T. du Toit

    1. Mammal Research Institute, Department of Zoology & Entomology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, 0002, South Africa
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*L. S. Broomhall School of Life & Environmental Sciences, George Campbell Building, University of Natal, Durban 4041, South Africa. E-mail: l_broomhall@hotmail.com

Abstract

Cheetah Acinonyx jubatus home-range size and habitat use were analysed using radio-tracking data collected in the southern district of the Kruger National Park (KNP) between 1987 and 1990. Meaningful estimates of home-range size, using the 95% minimum convex polygon method, were 126 km2 for a three-male cheetah coalition, 195 km2 for a solitary male, and 150 km2 and 171 km2 for two female cheetahs. Although cheetahs used all habitats according to their availability, they did show a preference for open savanna habitat because their core or total home ranges centred on these habitats. Female cheetahs used denser woodland habitat more frequently than males, as they seemed to be influenced by the distribution of their main prey, impala Aepyceros melampus, which also preferred denser woodland habitat.

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