The impacts of herbivory on vegetation in Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana: 1967-2001
Regional Environmental Change
Agricultural Research Council, Institute for Soil, Water and Climate, PB X79, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
Browsing and grazing pressure on vegetation in the Moremi Game Reserve in Botswana was analyzed using remotely sensed imagery comprising CORONA photographs of 1967 and Landsat TM and Landsat ETM imagery of 1989 and 1994 and 2001, respectively. Comparison of temporal variations in the spatial distributions of different vegetation types and changes in the abundance of selected wildlife species demonstrate a persistent decrease in capacity of the environment to support wild animals, due to increasing abundance of poorly preferred browse species and increasing scarcity of favored varieties. Given the long-term direction of change showing continued deterioration of habitat conditions and the limited prospects for reversal of this trend, it is apparent that there is immediate need to realign wildlife management strategies in ways that can enhance the sustainability of wildlife and the supporting environment. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.