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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Notes on the introduction of Cape buffalo to Doornkloof Nature Reserve, Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Published source details

Venter J.A. (2004) Notes on the introduction of Cape buffalo to Doornkloof Nature Reserve, Northern Cape Province, South Africa. South African Journal of Wildlife Research, 34, 95-99


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Release translocated/captive-bred mammals in larger unrelated groups Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A study in 2000–2003 in a mixed karoo grassland reserve in Northern Cape Province, South Africa (Venter 2004) found that a larger group of translocated Cape buffalo Syncerus caffer released into a fenced reserve (after being held in a holding pen) formed a single herd and stayed in the reserve and bred, whilst a smaller group scattered and escaped the reserve. A group of 10 translocated animals formed a single herd (with two previously released animals) and over 10 months all animals survived and remained in the reserve. A year after release, five calves were born. One month after release, a group of four buffalo had split into two solitary animals and a male-female pair. One of the solitary animals was not seen again, the second solitary male was located two years after release on a neighbouring farm and was released into the second group of translocated animals in May 2003. The pair escaped the reserve three times in 13 months. After the third escape, the male was moved to a different reserve and a new male introduced to form a herd with the remaining female. Four subadult buffalo (2 male, 2 female) were placed in a holding pen in July 2000 and released in August into a fenced 12,000-ha reserve. A second group of seven adult and three sub-adult animals (4 male, 6 female) was placed into a holding pen in August 2002 and released into a 200 ha area in September before being completely released in October 2002. Both groups were monitored weekly using radio-tracking until October 2003.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)

Release translocated mammals into fenced areas Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A study in 2000–2003 in a mixed karoo grassland reserve in Northern Cape Province, South Africa (Venter 2004) found that after translocated Cape buffalo Syncerus caffer were released into a fenced reserve in groups (after being held in a holding pen) one group scattered and escaped the reserve while the other formed a single herd and stayed in the reserve and bred. One month after release, a group of four buffalo had split into two solitary animals and a pair formed by one male and one female. One of the solitary animals was not seen again, the second solitary male animal was located two years after release on a neighbouring farm and released into the second group of translocated animals in May 2003. The pair escaped the reserve three times in 13 months. After the third escape, the male was moved to a different reserve and a new male introduced to form a herd with the remaining female. A second group of 10 translocated animals formed a single herd (along with the two remaining animals from the previous introduction) and over 10 months no animals died or escaped. A year after the introduction five calves were born. Four subadult buffalo (2 male, 2 female) were placed in a holding pen in July 2000 and released in August into a fenced 12,000-ha reserve. A second group of seven adult and three subadult animals (4 male, 6 female) was placed into a holding pen in August 2002 and released into a 200 ha area in September before being completely released in October 2002. Both groups were monitored weekly with telemetry until October 2003.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)

Release translocated/captive-bred mammals in family/social groups Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A study in 2000–2003 in a mixed karoo grassland reserve in Northern Cape Province, South Africa (Venter 2004) found that one out of two translocated Cape buffalo Syncerus caffer groups released into a fenced reserve (after being held in a holding pen) formed a single herd, stayed in the reserve and reproduced, while the other scattered and escaped the reserve. One group of 10 translocated animals formed a single herd (along with the two remaining animals from the previous introduction) and over 10 months no animals died or escaped. A year after the introduction, five calves were born. One month after release, a second group of four buffalo had split into two solitary animals and a pair formed by one male and one female. One of the solitary animals was not seen again, the second solitary male animal was located two years after release on a neighbouring farm and released into the second group of translocated animals in May 2003. The pair escaped the reserve three times in 13 months. After the third escape, the male was moved to a different reserve and a new male introduced to form a herd with the remaining female. Four subadult buffalos (2 male, 2 female) were placed in a holding pen in July 2000 and released in August into a fenced 12,000-ha reserve. A second group of seven adult and three subadult animals (4 male, 6 female) was placed into a holding pen in August 2002 and released into a 200 ha area in September before being completely released in October 2002. Both groups were monitored weekly with telemetry until October 2003.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)

Use holding pens at release site prior to release of translocated mammals Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A study in 2000–2003 in a mixed karoo grassland reserve in Northern Cape Province, South Africa (Venter 2004) found that following release from a holding pen in groups into a fenced reserve, one out of two translocated Cape buffalo Syncerus caffer groups scattered and escaped the reserve while the other formed a single herd and stayed in the reserve and bred. One month after release, a group of four buffalo had split into two solitary animals and a pair formed by one male and one female. One of the solitary animals was not seen again, the second solitary male animal was located two years after release on a neighbouring farm and released into the second group of translocated animals in May 2003. The pair escaped the reserve three times in 13 months. After the third escape, the male was moved to a different reserve and a new male introduced to form a herd with the remaining female. A second group of 10 translocated animals formed a single herd (along with the two remaining animals from the previous introduction) and over 10 months no animals died or escaped. A year after the introduction, five calves were born. Four subadult buffalo (2 male, 2 female) were placed in a holding pen in July 2000 and released in August into a fenced 12,000-ha reserve. A second group of seven adult and three subadult animals (4 male, 6 female) was placed into a holding pen in August 2002 and released into a 200 ha area in September before being completely released in October 2002. Both groups were monitored weekly with telemetry until October 2003.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)