The impacts of burning on Thomson's gazelles', Gazella thomsonii, vigilance in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

  • Published source details Eby S. & Ritchie M.E. (2013) The impacts of burning on Thomson's gazelles', Gazella thomsonii, vigilance in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. African Journal of Ecology, 51, 337-342.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use prescribed burning

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Use prescribed burning

    A site comparison study in 2007 of savanna grassland in a park in Tanzania (Eby & Ritchie 2013) found that vigilance (a measure of perceived predation risk) of Thomson’s gazelles Gazella thomsonii did not differ between those on burned and unburned areas. There was no difference between burned and unburned areas in group vigilance, individual vigilance or reaction time in presence of a model cheetah (data not presented). Gazelles were observed in July–August 2007 on 10 burned areas (burned after mid-April with 2 cm average new grass growth) and nine unburned grassland areas. Vigilance was defined as an animal raising its head above shoulder height. Group vigilance was the average proportion of individuals vigilant in a group at 5-minute intervals over one hour. Individual vigilance was recorded for randomly selected females, over 2 minutes. Reaction to a model cheetah was timed following model placement from a vehicle 60 m away from the group.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

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