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KWAME NKRUMAH UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES FACULTY OF RENEWABLE NATURAL RESOURCES

DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE AND RANGE MANAGEMENT

THE INFLUENCE OF PLANT SPECIES ON DISTRIBUTION OF KOB (KOBUS KOB) IN THE HEADQUARTERS AREA OF MOLE NATIONAL PARK

HOWARD HENRY ABUAKU MAY, 2012

KWAME NKRUMAH UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES FACULTY OF RENEWABLE NATURAL RESOURCES DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE AND RANGE MANAGEMENT

THE INFLUENCE OF PLANT SPECIES ON DISTRIBUTION OF KOB (KOBUS KOB) IN THE HEADQUARTERS AREA OF MOLE NATIONAL PARK

A THESIS SUBMITTED TO THE FACULTY OF RENEWABLE NATURAL RESOURCES KWAME NKRUMAH UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE AWARD OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE DEGREE IN NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT.

HOWARD HENRY ABUAKU MAY, 2012

ABSTRACT The number of plant species in an area is expected to influence the number of animal species, and at small spatial scales such positive associations have been widely found in both experimental and observational studies. The study was conducted to estimate kob (Kobus kob) sign density, plant species density and determine the relationship between plants species density and kob density. The study was conducted at the Headquarters area of Mole National Park to survey kob density. A combination of direct and indirect methodology was used to record kob signs on line transects whiles quadrats were used to survey plants species. An overall density of 10 signs per km of kob was estimated and a total of 44 plant species were estimated out of which 9 were significant. Generally the regression models showed two patterns, for some plant species highest kob abundance occurred at lowest plant densities indicating a negative relationship whereas for other plant species highest kob abundance occurred at highest plant densities indicating a positive relationship. Kob activity was not much at the headquarters area and could be attributed to tourist disturbance and human activities. Various plant species were found in MNP and it is recommended that further studies should be conducted to explain the negative influence they have on kob density.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I thank God for His mercies and love shown on me during all the years spent on campus and for His inspiration and wisdom granted me during the writing of this work. I am also indebted to my supervisor Mr. Emmanuel Danquah, Senior lecturer, Head of Department Wildlife and Range Management, whose immense contributions, criticism and unwavering commitment has made this research a success. To all the lecturers in Wildlife and Range Management Department I say thank you for such a wonderful tuition and discipline you instilled in me during my education. To Mr. Mac Elikem Nutsuakor a Senior Technician, Department of Wildlife and Range Management I say thank you for your assistance and critique.

I also cannot forget all the sacrifices made by my parents Mr. and Mrs. Howard and my siblings for contributing to who I am today, I hereby dedicate this work to. To my uncle Mr. Ben Aduwusu, for your contributions you have made towards my education since infancy I say thank you. To my friends Franz Alex Gaisie-Essilfie, Alfred Barah, Josiah Aduko, Christiana Adofoa, Abena Amoah-Kusi and Agyeiwaa Ampofo I say thank you.

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TABLE OF CONTENT
ABSTRACT.....................................................................................................................................................i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ........................................................................................................................... ii TABLE OF CONTENT ................................................................................................................................ iii List of Figures .................................................................................................................................................v List of Tables .................................................................................................................................................vi CHAPTER ONE .............................................................................................................................................1 1.0 INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................................................................1 1.1 1.2 1.3 Background .....................................................................................................................................1 Justification .....................................................................................................................................2 Aim and Objectives.........................................................................................................................3

CHAPTER TWO ............................................................................................................................................4 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 LITERATURE REVIEW ...................................................................................................................4 Kob Traits and Ecology ..................................................................................................................4 Kob Social Behaviour .....................................................................................................................5 Reproduction in Kob .......................................................................................................................6 Predation .........................................................................................................................................7 Plants ...............................................................................................................................................8 Plant Nutrition .................................................................................................................................8 Plant and Animal interactions .........................................................................................................9 Density ..........................................................................................................................................10

CHAPTER THREE ......................................................................................................................................11 3.0 3.1 3.1.1 3.1.2 3.1.3 3.2 3.2.1 3.2.2 MATERIALS AND METHODS ......................................................................................................11 Materials .......................................................................................................................................11 Study area description ...........................................................................................................11 Climate ..................................................................................................................................12 Vegetation .............................................................................................................................12 Methods.........................................................................................................................................15 Data collection ......................................................................................................................15 Data analysis .........................................................................................................................17

CHAPTER FOUR .........................................................................................................................................18 4.0 RESULTS .........................................................................................................................................18 iii

4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4

Estimate of kob sign density .........................................................................................................18 Estimate of Plant Density..............................................................................................................18 Relationship between Plant Species density and Kob Sign Density .............................................19 Regressional analysis ....................................................................................................................20

CHAPTER FIVE ..........................................................................................................................................24 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.2.1 5.3 DISCUSSION ...................................................................................................................................24 Kob Densities ................................................................................................................................24 Plant density ..................................................................................................................................25 Summary of Major Plant Species..........................................................................................25 Relationship between Plant Species density and Kob Sign Density .............................................28

CHAPTER SIX .............................................................................................................................................31 6.0 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ...........................................................................31

Conclusions ...............................................................................................................................................31 Recommendation ......................................................................................................................................32 LITERATURE CITED .................................................................................................................................33 Appendices....................................................................................................................................................38 Appendix 1: Type and Density of Plant Species.......................................................................................38

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List of Figures Figure 3.1: Map of Study Area ....................................................................................................... 11 Figure 3.2: Map of Study Area showing transect origins ............................................................... 16 Figure 4.1: Spatial pattern of Kob signs distribution in Mole National Park..19 Figure 4.2: Relationships between Kob signs per km and a suite of plant species.........................21 Figure 4.3: Relationships between Kob signs per km and a suite of plant species.22

List of Tables Table 4.1: Correlation coefficients (r) between kob signs per km and a suite of plants species recorded on transects. Sample size is 8 transects ............................................................................ 20

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CHAPTER ONE 1.0 INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background

The number of plant species in an area is expected to influence the number of animal species, and at small spatial scales such positive associations have been widely found in both experimental and observational studies (Siemann et al., 1998; Knops et al., 1999; Haddad et al., 2001). Such associations have also been used to argue that one of the ecosystem functions provided by diverse plant communities is the maintenance of rich animal communities (Knops et al., 1999). However, whether or not this function operates at larger extents or for all animal groups is less certain.

At some very gross level plant and animal richness patterns must be congruent, since both increases from the poles to the tropics. But even if true, it begs the more interesting ecological question of the extent that this covariation is causal or coincidental. If plant diversity strongly influences animal diversity at broad s cal es , then it follows that to understand animal diversity gradients we need only know what drives plant diversity and then explain total biotic diversity as a special case of resourceconsumer interactions, whereas if links between plant and animal diversity are non-causal, then we need to understand what aspects of the environment can drive both patterns simultaneously.

Given that there is widespread evidence that elements of climate influence both plant and animal diversity gradients at broad spatial scales (Wright et al., 1993; Hawkins et al., 2003), the key to

answering this question is not simply to correlate plant and animal richness gradients, but to include simultaneously both plant richness data and climatic variables in analyses of animal diversity patterns to determine how they covary in concert.

Plant-animal interactions and their effects on ecosystem properties assume particular importance in protected areas where management decisions have to be taken according to vegetation status and animal distribution and density. Browsing impact on vegetation communities also assumes particular importance in protected areas where management decisions have to be taken according to vegetation status, and animal distribution and density.

The headquarters area of the Mole National Park (MNP) was selected for this study because the high visitor influx in the area has resulted in substantial variation in the level of anthropogenic disturbance, making it an ideal setting to test the joint effects of vegetation modifications on species distributions. The study focused on kob (Kobus kob) that have been widely used as indicators of forest fragmentation and habitat disturbance due to their close relationships with forest cover and vegetative complexity (Chiarello, 2000) and can be sampled with relatively simple methods like transects (Conroy,2006). Another reason for the study of kob was that they serve as important sources of food for indigenous people and are the focus on many ongoing conservation efforts in the region.

1.2

Justification

Effective conservation of kob in Mole National Park requires scientific knowledge underpinning management decisions and on-ground actions. Yet, there is general lack of ecological research on
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kob in Ghana which limits our ability to make even generalizations about the habitat requirements of the species living in such landscapes, and hence suggest management recommendations. A further complication is the large variation in habitat requirements among species (Jellinek et al., 2004; Monamy and Fox, 2005). Hence, conservation managers face significant uncertainty regarding the most appropriate management strategies for achieving long-term conservation outcomes for kob and the diversity of native fauna species in MNP. If kob are to be conserved in MNP, it is vital that we understand the habitat requirements and sensitivities of the species. This requires understanding how both species density is influenced by local-level habitat factors like vegetation type and its implications for tourism.

1.3

Aim and Objectives

The study provides some of the first quantitative data on kob species density in the headquarters area of the Mole National Park (MNP), and one of the first comparisons across vegetation types. Specifically, the objectives of the study are to; 1. 2. 3. Estimate kob sign density (encounter rate) at the headquarters area of MNP. Estimate the density of plant species in the study area. Determine the relationship between plant species density and kob sign density.

CHAPTER TWO 2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1

Kob Traits and Ecology

The Kob (Kobus kob) is a medium sized antelope; the males are heavier than females they stand approximately 92cm high at the shoulder. Kobus kob has a short reddish brown coat with a white throat-patch and white underparts. The male kob is robustly built and has a muscular neck and thick, lyrate horns. Females are more slender and lack horns (Kingdon, 2007). Males are 90-100 cm long and have an average weight of 94 kg. Females are 82-92 cm long and weigh on average 63 kg (Kingdon, 2007) (Estes, 1991).The bushy tail is white underneath and terminates with a black tip with a length of 20-40 cm.

The kob has a scattered and patchy distribution ranging from Senegal and Guinea-Bissau to Uganda, southern Sudan, and south-east Ethiopia (IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group (2008). It requires low-lying flats or gently rolling country close to permanent water with no severe seasonal extremes (Kingdon, 2007). Having likely evolved from a reedbuck-like ancestor, the kob is largely tied to floodplain grasslands. However, it is not cover-dependent and avoids flooded ground and steep slopes (Estes, 1991). Kob are herbivores and its preference for perennial grasses in early, palatable stages and its need to drink daily makes it tied to green pastures that are well watered (Kingdon,2007). During the rainy season, kob concentrate in areas of short grass and high dry ground and keep these pastures short while ungrazed grassland grow tall and rank (Estes, 1991). Due to its dependence on water, any extension of ecological range into drier habitats stops short of the point where there is no more access to moist green growth, or adequate water
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(Kingdon, 2007). The kob are able to congregate and move from one resource to another. These movements follow seasonal changes in pasture (Kingdon, 2007). In areas with extensive flooding, traveling can involve many hundreds of kilometres. Daily treks to water in the dry season may require a walk of 10 km or more (Kingdon, 2007).

2.2

Kob Social Behaviour

Kob have few strong social bonds; however females live in herds of which can reach thousands. The females also tend to be more mobile and more social than territorial males which remain attached to their static territories as long as possible (Kingdon, 2007). It is the females that lead the daily movements to water regardless of the length of time, scale or proximity. Individual young kob learn their routines from their mothers. However, the higher the density of individuals the more females will take their cues from other females (Kingdon, 2007). Males follow the females and may be an integral part of their herds. All-males herds that number up to several hundred individuals may associate with females during the dry season marches. The social and reproductive organization of kob can vary. At average or low population densities, males establish conventional territories that are spaced at least 100-200 m apart (Estes, 1991). Adult males try to establish their territories in the best habitat available which are inhabited by herds of females and their young. These herds are loosely structured and have open, changing composition and size as the animals move about their range searching for greener pastures. Nonterritorial males, particularly young males, live in bachelor herds and are segregated from the females by the territorial males. On floodplains, where kob live in high population densities, around two thirds of the territorial males defend conventional territories while the rest live in clustered territories known as leks (Estes, 1991). These clusters may be no larger than a single

conventional territory. Lek clusters are located on short grass and bare ground and are surrounded by taller grassland. As such, these territories have litter to no value other than the males that reside in them. 8-9 of every 10 females visit leks to mate which makes it worth it for males to forego space and food for greater reproductive success (Estes, 1991). Females and bachelor males live in large herds of up to 2000 and circulate around a lek. Where are in the middle of the best pastureland and are near waterholes and well-travelled routes. Females visit these leks only to breed, and males provide no parental care. This mating system may have evolved because males cannot defend the widely-dispersed food resources or the dynamic and temporary female herds (Deutsch, 1994a). Within a lek, 20 to 200 males defend territories 15 to 200 meters in diameter (Nowak, 1991). Male territories are smallest and most highly-contested in the center of the lek, where most mating occurs. These territories maintain their popularity among females despite rapid male turnover (Deutsch, 1994a). In areas of lower population density, males are spaced farther apart and hold their territories for longer periods of time (Nowak, 1991). Each lek is associated with a female herd of about 100 individuals.

2.3

Reproduction in Kob

Females begin to mate at the age of one year, but males must normally wait for several more years (Nowak, 1991). Larger numbers of females associate with larger leks, possibly because females stay on the lek longer when more males and other females are present (Deutsch, 1994b). Females begin to ovulate at 13-14 months and come into oestrous every 20-26 days until they are inseminated. Courtship by males differs between males of conventional territories and lek territories. Males of conventional territories will try to prevent females from leaving and will

chase and herd them (Estes, 1991). Lek males are unable to keep females from escaping, although they try. Kob courtship may last as little as 2-3 minutes and copulation may only last 1-2 seconds (Buechner and Schleoth, 1966). At leks, a female may copulative up to 20 times by one or more of the central males. Gestation lasts 261271 days after which a calf is usually dropped, with a sex ratio of about 1:1 (Haltenorth and Diller, 1994). For their first month, calves lie concealed in high grass. Mothers and their calves use their noses to identify one another. When they pass the hiding stage, calves join crches and rarely go into tall grass. They rest together in available shades. When they are 3-4 months old, the young join the female herds and associate with their mothers until they are weaned at 6-7 months. When they mature, males join bachelors groups (Estes, 1991).

2.4

Predation

The sedentary nature of Kob and their tendency to occur in relatively large concentrations make them highly susceptible to hunting. Buffon's Kob, (Kobus kob kob) in particular, has been eliminated from large parts of its former range by poaching for meat and now survives mainly in and around protected areas. Poaching has caused large-scale declines of key populations areas (East, 1999). The kob is preyed upon by several species, including common jackal Canis aureus, spotted hyena Crocuta crocuta, olive baboon Papio anubis and lion Panthera leo (Wanzie, 1986; Kingdon,1982).

2.5

Plants

Plants include family organisms such as trees, flowers, herbs, shrubs, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses and green algae. The group is also called Green Plant or Viridiplantae in Latin (Lewis, 2004).They obtain most of their energy from sunlight via photosynthesis using chlorophyll contained in chloroplasts, which gives them their green colour. The plant kingdoms comprises about 260,000 known species of mosses, liverworts, fern, herbaceous and woody plants, shrub, vines, trees and various other forms that mantle the earth and are also found in its waters (Raven, 2008).

2.6

Plant Nutrition

Just as animals need certain nutrients, such as carbohydrates, amino acids, and vitamins to survive, plants also need various nutrients to remain alive and healthy. Lack of important nutrient may slow a plants growth or make the plant more susceptible to disease or even death. Plants acquire these nutrients primarily from soil through their roots; although some take a more direct approach example, the carnivorous plants are able to obtain some nutrients directly from small animals (Mengel et al., 1982). Plants require a number of inorganic nutrients. Some of these are macro nutrients which the plants need in relatively large amount and others are micro nutrients, which are required in trace amounts. There are nine macronutrients, carbon, hydrogen and oxygen the three elements found in all organic compounds as well as nitrogen, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and sulphur (Kirkby et al., 1982). Each of these nutrients approaches or, as in the case with carbon, may greatly exceed 1% of the dry weight of a healthy plant. The seven micronutrients elements are
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iron, chlorine, copper, manganese, zinc, molybdenum, and boron which constitute from less than one to several hundred parts per million in most plants.

2.7

Plant and Animal interactions

Large mammalian herbivores not only depend on plant communities for their existence but cause major changes in plant community composition and structure (Augustine and McNaughton, 1998) The effect ungulates exert on plant communities depends on the balance between feeding

selectivity of herbivores thus the degree to which different plant species or ecotypes experience different levels of tissue loss, and differences among plant species in their ability to recover from tissue loss (Augustine and McNaughton, 1998). The selectivity of ungulate herbivory leads to the dominance of unpalatable chemically defended plant species in communities. However, studies have also demonstrated that intensive long-term herbivory does not lead to the invasion of unpalatable species into the community, and can even increase the dominance of highly palatable species (Augustine and McNaughton, 1998). High levels of nutrient inputs or recycling and an intermittent temporal pattern of herbivory (often due to migration) are key factors increasing the regrowth capacity of palatable species and hence maintaining their dominance in plant communities and supports abundant herbivores. Key factors limiting ungulate foraging selectivity, again limiting herbivore-induced dominance of slowgrowing, unpalatable species, include herding behaviour, early growing season and post-fire herbivory, asynchronous phenology of palatable versus unpalatable species, and low relative abundance of unpalatable species (Augustine and McNaughton, 1998).

2.8

Density

Density is the number of individuals per unit area (Wayne and James 1986, Sanford, 1980). According to Wayne and James (1986), density determination is useful when one is more interested in the number individuals rather than the cover or biomass, such as in evaluation of trees or shrub stand. It can also provide an indication of the structure of a habitat and the amount of wildlife food and cover (Sanford, 1980)

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CHAPTER THREE 3.0 MATERIALS AND METHODS 3.1 Materials

3.1.1 Study area description

Mole National Park (MNP) is Ghanas largest protected area and covers about 4,590 km. It is almost entirely located in the Northern Region and includes parts of West Gonja, Sawla Tuna Kalaba, Wa East and West Mamprusi Districts. It lies between 9 11 and 10 10 N, and between 1 22 and 2 13 W, between Wa and Tamale (Fig 3.1).

Figure 3.1: Map of Mole National Park insert in black is the study area.

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Most of the 742 plant species found in MNP are widespread throughout the savannah zone. These species of conservation value (4 endemic, 12 disjunct and 24 species which are rare or have a very limited distribution) is relatively high. However their abundance is generally low and they are often confined to small areas (Wildlife Department, 1994).

3.1.2

Climate

The average annual rainfall is about 1100 mm, decreasing to 1000 mm in the north of the park. More than 90% of the rain falls in the rainy season from April to October, with peaks in July and September. The dry season lasts from November to March. The mean annual temperature of 28C varies from 26C in December to 31C in March. The average range from day to night is 13C. It can be unpleasantly hot in March and April, with temperatures sometimes in the 40C. The Harmattan - the dry wind from the Sahara may blow during December to February bringing dusty, hazy weather. The relative humidity reaches 90% at night in the rains and falls to about 70% in the afternoons. In the dry season the figures are 50% and 20% respectively.

3.1.3 Vegetation The vegetation of Mole National Park can be grouped into eight broad vegetation types. Their distribution is mainly determined by soil depth and drainage (Schmitt and Adu-Nsiah, 1993).

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3.1.3.1 Open savannah woodland This is the dominant vegetation type. The tree cover varies from 5% to 65%, with an average of 30%. The average tree height is 11 m with individuals reaching 22m. The ground cover, which can reach up to 100%, is dominated by grasses up to 3m tall. The main grasses are species of Andropogon and scattered herbs are found between them. The savannah woodland is divided into three main groups: The Burkea - Terminalia savannah woodland with Vitellaria paradoxa (the shea-nut tree) comprises all savannah woodland on welldrained and often deep soils. The Burkea - Terminalia savannah woodland with Detarium microcarpum is confined to shallow and rocky soils. The Anogeissus with Vitellaria paradoxa is found on the granite outcrops.

3.1.3.2 Boval (open grassland) The boval vegetation (Loudetiopsis kerstingii - Polycarpaea tenuifolia community) comprises all plant communities on flat iron pans with patches of shallow soil. Only annual species can compete on such sites which are flooded and species-rich during the rains and subject to extreme water-stress during the dry season.

3.1.3.3 Riverine forest This is found along most of the rivers in the park. It often forms bands of generally dense and species-rich forests of up to 38m in height. The width of these bands varies from a few metres to more than 100 m on either side of the river and is mainly determined by topography and geology.
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3.1.3.4 Flood plain grassland and swamps This vegetation type comprises four plant communities of seasonally water-logged valley bottoms and badly-drained depressions and areas around water-holes which are mainly dominated by grasses and sedges.

3.1.3.5 Communities covering small areas These are sites with special vegetation such as old termite mounds or depressions in the sandstone plateau on top of the Konkori escarpment, which are water-filled during the rainy season. There is also a scarp forest along the foot of the Konkori escarpment.

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3.2 3.2.1

Methods Data collection

3.2.1.1 Reconnaissance survey A two-day reconnaissance survey was conducted in the study area. This was done to get familiarise with the study area, talk to park staff and predict logistical problems and was assisted by the head ranger of Mole National Park.

3.2.1.2 Sampling techniques Quadrats and transects were used to sample the plants and animals respectively in the area. The map of the area was gridded and 8 transects of 1000m was systematically laid in each grid to sample the area (Fig. 3.2). Three quadrats of 10m x 10m was systematically laid on each transect to sample animals and plants (William, 2000).

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Figure 3.2: Map of study area showing transect origins and observations

3.2.1.3 Field survey The coordinates of sampling points on the map were entered into the Global Positioning System (GPS) device to locate the sampling points on the ground. From the gridded map a reference transect was established to the north and all other transects according to this direction. All quadrats were established to the right of each transect. In each quadrat selected plants were identified and their numbers recorded. A line transect methodology (straight line) was used to sample kob signs (Barn and Jensen, 1994).

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3.2.2

Data analysis

3.2.2.1 Estimate of plant density The density of plants was calculated using the formula, , (Wayne and James, 1986)

3.2.2.2 Estimate of Kob sign density The kob sign density was calculated using the formula,

, (Wayne and James, 1986)

3.2.2.3 Influence of Plant Species on Kob Density The influence of plants species on kob density was analysed in two stages. Firstly, a correlation matrix based on the value correlation coefficient (r) was performed to access the strength of a general relationship or influence of each plant species on kob density. Secondly, a regression analysis was performed on the plants that had significant influences on kob density to further investigate the trend of these relationships. In all cases, the statistics package StatView 5.0.1 was used. The goal was to build mathematical models that described the distribution of kob species. Descriptive analysis was used to present the results in tables and graphs.

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CHAPTER FOUR 4.0 RESULTS 4.1 Estimate of kob sign density

Kob signs in each cell ranged from 3 to 27 signs per km. The spatial patterns showed a north- east to south-west gradient with most species occurring in the north-east direction and south-west direction with fewer species occurring at the mid-portions around the Headquarters and Dam areas ( Figure 3.2). Kob sign density was approximately 10 signs per kilometre.

4.2

Estimate of Plant Density

In all 44 plant species were encountered and identified in the quadrats laid on the transects (Appendix 1: Plant Species List). The major plant species recorded were Burkea africana (1.1667 per ha), Crossopteryx febrifuga (1.25 per ha), Piliostigma thonningii (1.25 per ha), Afrormorsia laxiflora (2.083 per ha), Daniellia oliveri (2.917 per ha), Annona senegalensis (3.75 per ha), Nauclea latifolia (5.833 per ha), Daniellia macrocarpa (7.917 per ha) and Vitellaria paradoxa (7.75 per ha).

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Figure 4.1: Spatial pattern of kob signs in Mole National Park

4.3

Relationship between Plant Species density and Kob Sign Density

In the study 44 plants species were identified but only 9 had significant correlation with kob density (Table 4.1). When the plants species were considered individually, Nauclea latifolia (r= 0.0996, P<0.01) was the best predictor of kob distribution pattern followed by Piliostigma thonningii (r= 0.982 P<0.01), Afrormorsia laxiflora (r=0.971, P<0.01), Vitellaria paradoxa (r=0.975, P>0.05) and Daniellia oliveri (r = 0.943, P<0.01) and had a positive influence on kob distribution pattern.

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However Daniellia macrocarpa(r=-0.982 P<0.01), Annona senegalensis(r=-0.873, P<0.01) Crossopteryx febrifuga(r=-0861, P<0.01) and Burkea africana(r=-0825, P<0.01) all had an inverse influence on Kob distribution pattern.

Table 4.1: Correlation coefficients (r) between kob signs per km and a suite of plants species recorded on transects Description of Plant species Nauclea latifolia, Piliostigma thonningii Vitellaria paradoxa Afrormosia laxiflora Daniellia oliveri Daniellia macrocarpa Annona senegalensis Crossopteryx febrifuga Burkea africana r 0.996 0.982 0.975 0.971 0.943 - 0.982 - 0.873 - 0.861 - 0.825 P < 0.01 < 0.01 > 0.05 < 0.01 < 0.01 < 0.01 < 0.01 < 0.01 < 0.01

4.4

Regressional analysis

Each of the significant plant species were regressed against kob sign densities. Once again Kob density was positively influenced by the Nauclea latifolia (r2=0.996, P<0.01; fig.4.1a), Piliostigma thonningii (r2=0.982, P<0.01; fig 4.1b), Vitellaria paradoxa (r2=0.975, P>0.05;fig 4.2c), Afrormosia latiflora (r2=0.971, P<0.01; fig 4.2d) and Daniellia oliveri (r2=0.943, P<0.01; fig 4.2 e).

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(a)
27.5 25

(b)
27.5 25
No. of Kob signs per km

No. of Kob signs per km

22.5 20 17.5 15 12.5 10 7.5 5 2.5 -2 4 6 8 10 12 No. of Nauclea latifolia per ha Y = 3.209 + 2.027 * X - .023 * X^2; R^2 = .994 0 2 14 16

22.5 20 17.5 15 12.5 10 7.5 5 2.5 -1 1 2 3 4 5 6 No. of Piliostigma thonningii per ha Y = 4.63 + 1.373 * X + .261 * X^2; R^2 = .989 0 7 8

(c)
27.5 25

(d)
27.5 25
No. of Kob signs per km

No. of Kob signs per km

22.5 20 17.5 15 12.5 10 7.5 5 2.5 0 20 30 40 50 60 70 No. of Vitellaria paradoxa per ha Y = 3.701 + .156 * X + .002 * X^2; R^2 = .962 10 80 90

22.5 20 17.5 15 12.5 10 7.5 5 2.5 -.5 1 .5 1.5 2 2.5 No. of Afrormosia laxifolia per ha Y = 4.89 + 2.648 * X + 1.623 * X^2; R^2 = .98 0 3 3.5

(e)
27.5 25

No. of Kob signs per km

22.5 20 17.5 15 12.5 10 7.5 5 2.5 -.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 No. of Daniellia oliveri per ha Y = 4.63 - .022 * X + 1.413 * X^2; R^2 = .975 0 .5 4 4.5

Figure 4.2: Relationships between kob signs per km and a number of suite of plants species per ha.

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Generally the regression models showed increasing kob abundance with an increasing plant density per hectare. Similarly kob density was inversely influenced by Daniellia macrocarpa (r2= 0.982, P<0.01; Figure 4.3a), Annona senegalensis (r2= 0.873, P<0.01; Figure 4.3b), Crossopteryx febrifuga (r2= 0.861, P<0.01; Figure 4.3c), and Burkea africana (r2= 0.825, P<0.01; Figure 4.3d).

(a)
27.5 25

(b)
27.5 25

No. of Kob signs per km

No. of Kob signs per km

22.5 20 17.5 15 12.5 10 7.5 5 2.5 -1 1 2 3 4 5 6 No. of Daniellia macrocarpa per ha Y = 27.502 - 4.277 * X + .137 * X^2; R^2 = .972 0 7 8

22.5 20 17.5 15 12.5 10 7.5 5 2.5 -.5 .5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 No. of Annona senegalensis per ha Y = 26.889 - 16.111 * X + 2.889 * X^2; R^2 = .893 0 3.5

(c)
27.5 25
No. of Kob signs per km

(d)
27.5 25

No. of Kob signs per km

22.5 20 17.5 15 12.5 10 7.5 5 2.5 -.5 .5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 No. of Crossopteryx febrifuga per ha Y = 21.962 - 13.276 * X + 2.545 * X^2; R^2 = .852 0 3.5

22.5 20 17.5 15 12.5 10 7.5 5 2.5 -1 7 6 5 4 3 2 No. of Burkea africana per ha Y = 25.37 - 6.501 * X + .452 * X^2; R^2 = .938 0 1 8 9 10

Figure 4.3: An inverse relationships between kob signs per km and a suite of plant species per ha.

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The regression models showed that highest kob abundance occurred at lowest plant densities per hectare. These models allow us to calculate the number of kob signs expected given the number of available plant species.

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CHAPTER FIVE 5.0 DISCUSSION 5.1 Kob Densities

Human population growth and land transformations also influence ungulate population dynamics through the destruction and loss of their natural habitats and accelerated exploitation. Hunting pressures was suspected to be much reduced in the headquarters area compared to the other areas; however kob densities were generally high at the north- east to south-west sections of the study area with fewer species occurring in the mid-portions around the Headquarters and Dam areas. Particularly most kob activity was recorded some distance from the tourist visitor centre towards the periphery of these study area indicating a possibility of disturbance by tourists and possibly from other human activities.

Nevertheless, the generally high record of kob signs in the study area corresponds well to established increased activity levels. Kob may be adapted to the habitat conditions in MNP, thereby persisting or increasing and do not appear to have suffered to the same extent as other species groups like primates or larger carnivores due to human activities. Most kob populations have also been assessed as stable or increasing in Ghanaian savannahs (IUCN/SSC, 1998). In addition, most antelopes, especially kob, can probably withstand hunting pressure to a greater degree than the more susceptible primate species. However, hunting activities might have reduced the large ungulate populations in comparison to past levels of abundance.

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5.2 5.2.1

Plant density Summary of Major Plant Species

Forty four plants species were recorded in the study area during the survey. The major species include: Nauclea latifolia, Piliostigma thonningii, Afrormorsia laxiflora, Vitellaria paradoxa Daniellia oliveri, Daniellia macrocarpa, Annona senegalensis, Crossopteryx febrifuga and Burkea africana.

5.2.1.1 Nauclea latifolia Nauclea latifolia is an evergreen multi-stemmed shrub or a tree from the family: Rubiaceae, it grows up to an altitude of 200m. It is widespread in the humid tropical rainforest zone or in savannah woodlands of West and Central Africa. It has an open canopy and terminal spherical head lined cymes of white flowers. The flowers are joined with their calyces with a syncarp fruit. The tree is flowering from April to June. The fruits are ripening from July to September. Baboons and other livestock feed on them and they serve as medicinal to rural folks (Vogt, 1995). The plant is widely distributed in the study area.

5.2.1.2 Piliostigma thonningii Piliostigma thonningii (camels foot) is a tree 4-15 m in height and belongs to the family caesalpinioideae with a rounded crown and a short but often crooked bole with rusty-hairy twigs. The bark is rough and longitudinally fissured, being creamy-brown when fresh and grey-brown later. Leathery green leaves up to 15 x 17 cm, bi-lobed one eighth to one third the way down with a small bristle in the notch, glossy above and heavily veined and somewhat rusty-hairy below.
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Flowers with 5 white to pink petals, pendulous, unisexual with male and female usually on separate trees; ovary topped by a thick flattened-globose stigma. The leaves are edible and chewed to relieve thirst. The fruit and seeds are edible. The pods are nutritious and relished by cattle and antelopes. This is a preferred browse species of the African elephant (Loxodonta africana), the fruits are also taken in considerable quantities (Bombardelli et al., 1994). In terms of distribution it is sparsely distributed in the study area. It is mostly found at the MNP tourist centre and at the main entrance of MNP.

5.2.1.3 Burkea africana Burkea africana is a deciduous, medium-sized, spreading, flat-topped tree. Leaves are bipinnately compound, silvery-pubescent or glabrescent. Flowers are creamy-white, fragrant and in pendulous racemes of up to 300 mm in length. It is widely distributed in tropical Africa but sparsely distributed in the study site. It is mostly found near water bodies in MNP. The leaves are the only food resource of two kinds of edible caterpillars which are harvested in thousands during the rainy season, mainly January and February. The bark is used as dye for Combretum zeyheri roots which are woven into baskets. The roots are used to treat stomach pain and tooth ache (Palmer et al., 1972).

5.2.1.4 Crossopteryx febrifuga Crossopteryx febrifuga is a deciduous savannah tree 1.8-15 m tall, with a rounded crown and pendulous branchlets. It has bark pale grey to dark brown, scaly, finely reticulate; young stems glabrous to densely hairy pubescent (Palmer et al., 1972). It is sparsely distributed at the study
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area. Bushbuck browses the leaves and shoots. The wood is hard, fine textured, with a pale pink tinge and used for building domestic implements e.g. utensils, tool handles and also used as fuel.

5.2.1.5 Annona senegalensis Annona senegalensis is a shrub or small tree 2-6 m tall but may reach 11 m under favourable conditions; bark smooth to roughish, silvery grey or grey-brown, with leaf scars and roughly circular flakes exposing paler patches of under bark. Wild fruit trees of this species are found in semi-arid to sub-humid all over regions Africa. The species occurs along riverbanks, fallow land, swamp forests and at the coast. Commonly grows as a single plant in the understorey of savannah woodlands. The plant species are sparsely distributed in the study area around the headquarters. The leaves are sometimes used as vegetables, while the edible white pulp of the ripe fruit has a pleasant, pineapple-like taste. Flowers serve as a spice for various meals whiles livestock browse the leaves. Fibre from young sucker shoots is used in binding. The wood is soft and white or light brown in colour; it is used for poles and tool handles (Palmer et al., 1972).

5.2.1.6 Afrormosia latiflora Afrormosia latifolia is small to medium-sized tree 212 m tall bole rarely straight reaching to 25 cm diameter, bearing crooked, drooping branches forming a dishevelled crown. It is among one of the commonest trees found in savannah woodland and fringing forest, and also in dry dense forest (Palmer et al., 1972). However it is sparsely distributed in the study area and located around the dam areas.

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5.2.1.7 Vitellaria paradoxa Vitellaria paradoxa is a small to medium-sized tree about 10-15 high; much branched, dense, spreading, round to hemispherical crown. In mature trees the bole is short, usually 3-4 m but exceptionally 8m, with a diameter ranging from 0.3 to 1 m, but most frequently 0.6 m. Bark conspicuously thick, corky, horizontally and longitudinally deeply fissured; protects older trees against bush fires. Slash pale pink, secreting white latex, as do broken twigs or petioles. The sugary pulp of the fruit makes it attractive to a wide range of animals. A large variety of birds, ungulates and primates, including humans, eat them, dispersing the seed in the process (Palmer et al., 1972). It is the most densely populated plant in the study area and almost found everywhere.

5.3

Relationship between Plant Species density and Kob Sign Density

When the plants species were considered individually, Nauclea latifolia, Piliostigma thonningii, afrormorsia laxiflora, Vitellaria paradoxa and Daniellia oliveri and had a positive influence on kob distribution pattern. However Daniellia macrocarpa, Annona senegalensis, Crossopteryx febrifuga, and Burkea africana, all had an inverse influence on kob distribution pattern. Generally the regression models showed two patterns, for some plant species highest kob abundance occurred at lowest plant densities indicating a negative relationship whilst for other plant species highest kob abundance occurred at highest plant densities indicating a positive relationship. These results should however be viewed with caution because a lot more other factors could be working together with these plants densities to influence kob distribution. These factors include various ecological and climatic variables such as humidity, temperature, rainfall,

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water availability, shade. and also human variables such as hunting activity and tourist disturbance (Siemann et al., 1998; Knops et al., 1999; Haddad et al., 2001). Temperature, soil type and climate conditions affect plant growth and this could be contributing to influence kob density in the study area (Wright et al., 1993; Hawkins et al., 2003). Dry and wet soil types are also pre-requisite for some plant species to grow well. The level of protection is also a major factor in animal distribution patterns. The affinity for some plants by kob could be due to closeness of such plants to water sources. During the study for instance (Annona senegalensis, Afrormosia latifolia and Burkea africana) were found mainly in flood plains hence the abundance of kob numbers may be due to kob affinity for water (Knops et al., 1999). The affinity for water by large mammals in Bia Conservation Area has also been shown by PADP (2009). Also such places around water sources are cooler and are likely to shield kob from hot temperatures from the heat of the sun especially in the afternoons where most species search for shade to rest under. These plant species may also provide a positive effect through their canopies which could serve as a hideout from most predators and poachers. It is also likely that these flood plains are inaccessible to poachers during most times of the year because of the nature of the terrain hence poaching activity may be lower compared to other areas, providing a safe haven for most animals. The floodplain areas which contain mineral salts (saltlicks) are of major importance to animals hence kob may be especially attracted to these areas. Rainfall drives population dynamics of African savannah ungulates through its controlling influence on vegetation growth, food sufficiency and availability of surface water.

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Consequently, fluctuations in rainfall underpin ungulate population dynamics (Mills, Biggs & Whyte, 1995; Owen-Smith & Mills, 2006). The plants that had inverse influence on kob density possibly possessed variables that deter kob. Hence visibility for poachers and predator and scarcity of water will be higher to discourage the congregation of kob in these areas.

Many African ungulates live in groups which gives them potential advantage over predators because of dilution effects and early detection of attackers. Antelopes, however, are not only hunted by natural predators but increasingly by humans, resulting not only in significant reduction of population densities but sometimes in obliteration of entire populations and even species (Bertram, 1978). The species that suffered most were the duikers and other small antelopes up to the size of the kob antelope (Kobus kob kob). The observed decreases can most likely be attributed to intensive poaching that occurs in localised areas throughout the park.

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CHAPTER SIX 6.0 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Conclusions Most kob activity was recorded some distance from the tourist visitor centre towards the periphery of these study area indicating a possibility of disturbance by tourists and possibly from other human activities. An overall density of 10 signs per km of kob was estimated.

In all 44 plant species were encountered and identified in the quadrats laid on transects. The major plant species recorded were Burkea africana (1.1667 per ha), Crossopteryx febrifuga (1.25 per ha), Piliostigma thonningii (1.25 per ha), Afrormorsia laxiflora (2.083 per ha), Daniellia oliveri (2.917 per ha), Annona senegalensis (3.75 per ha), Nauclea latifolia (5.833 per ha), Daniellia macrocarpa (7.917 per ha) and Vitellaria paradoxa (7.75 per ha). The plants belong to the families Leguminosae, Rubiaceae, Caesalpiniacea, Fabaceae, Annonaceae and Sapotaceae respectively.

Generally the regression models showed two patterns, for some plant species highest kob abundance occurred at lowest plant densities indicating a negative relationship whereas for other plant species highest kob abundance occurred at highest plant densities indicating a positive relationship.

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Recommendation Kob activity was not much at the headquarters area and could be attributed to tourist disturbance and human activities. Various plant species were found in MNP and it is recommended that further studies should be conducted to explain the negative relationship with kob density and also those with positive relationship kob should be planted in areas that had plant species with negative influence to boost kob abundance.

It was beyond the scope of this study to understand why certain plant species show negative influence on kob density. Such a study is critical to inform management plans of MNP to be focused on the protection of plant resources for kob.

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. Appendices Appendix 1: Type and Density of Plant Species Plant Species Trans1 Trans 2 Trans 3 Trans 4 Trans 5 Trans 6 Trans 7 Trans 8 Total Density/ha Gardenia tomatosa 10 9 3 1 1 0 0 1 25 1.417 Burkea africana 3 4 4 2 1 0 9 5 28 1.1667 Vitellaria paradoxa 28 19 11 83 2 0 25 18 186 7.75 Terminalia avicennoides 33 6 70 53 15 0 23 22 222 9.25 Hanila acida 1 0 2 2 0 0 0 1 6 2.5 Piliostigma thonningii 2 0 0 7 2 0 0 3 14 5.833 Gardenia aquala 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 4 1.667 Combrentum senegalensis 14 2 9 5 23 18 2 10 83 3.4583 Maytenus senegalensis 8 0 0 0 0 0 3 1 12 5.0 Piliostigma polyendra 4 17 7 2 0 0 0 0 30 1.25 Combrentum mole 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 12 14 5.833 Crossopteryx febrifuga 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 3 1.25 Bridelia ferogina 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 3 1.25 Parinari crotifolia 2 5 1 1 0 0 0 0 9 3.75 Tericarpus erinacius 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4.17 Lania acida 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4.17 Annona senegalensis 1 4 1 0 0 0 1 2 9 3.75 Sicuridata longicudata 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 1.667 C. spps 0 8 0 0 0 0 5 2 15 6.25 Aflagyl peninculata 0 4 1 0 0 0 0 1 6 2.5 Daniellia olivera 0 1 0 2 3 0 0 1 7 2.917 Azilia africana 0 12 0 0 0 0 0 0 12 5 Grunia mole 0 8 1 0 0 0 0 0 9 3.75 Daniellia macrocarpa 0 6 3 0 0 0 3 7 19 7.917 Hanila ungulata 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 8.33
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Plant Species Tericarpus erinacius Afrormosia laxiflora Xymenia americana Trigilia roca Tiliopsis subanopsa Cocosp. Continum Sodioli kochai Nauclea latifolia Maligyina inermis Terminalia microcarpa Cidio ceduella Anogeissius leocarpus Acasia spp. Diasparos spp. Metrogina inermis Electrofolium acida Asobelinilia doka Garmenia amerio Total

Trans1 Trans 2 Trans 3 Trans 4 Trans 5 Trans 6 Trans 7 Trans 8 Total Density/ha 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1.25 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 1 5 2.083 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 3 1.25 0 2 6 2 0 0 0 0 10 4.167 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 8.33 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 4.17 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 1.667 0 0 0 14 0 0 0 0 14 5.833 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 4.17 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 4.17 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 3 1.25 0 0 0 0 4 24 0 0 28 1.1667 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 8.33 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 4.17 0 0 0 0 0 18 0 0 18 7.5 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 3 1.25 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 8.33 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 4.17 113 117 129 177 58 63 75 95 827

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