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Influences of parturition on home range and microhabitat use of female black-faced impalas


A. W. Goldizen, School of Integrative Biology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia.


The use of home ranges and microhabitats by female black-faced impalas Aepyceros melampus petersi was investigated using radio-telemetry over a 4-month period that coincided with parturition at Ongava Game Reserve, north-west Namibia. The aim of the study was to test how ranging patterns and microhabitat use were affected by the presence of young. The mean minimum convex polygon (MCP) home range of the 11 tracked female black-faced impalas exceeded the largest of home ranges of impalas elsewhere by at least six times, and females used significantly larger total ranges (MCPs) after birth, although (50% kernel) core areas did not change significantly. Females were more likely to be solitary or alone with a lamb in the first week of their lambs' lives than in the periods after or before that time, and they both shifted their home ranges and changed their microhabitat use after parturition. Decisions on microhabitat and space use by female black-faced impalas appeared to be affected by parturition.