Conservation Evidence strives to be as useful to conservationists as possible. Please take our survey to help the team improve our resource.

Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Population viability of Cape Mountain zebra in Gamka Mountain Nature Reserve, South Africa: the influence of habitat and fire

Published source details

Watson L.H., Odendaal H.E., Barry T.J. & Pietersen J. (2005) Population viability of Cape Mountain zebra in Gamka Mountain Nature Reserve, South Africa: the influence of habitat and fire. Biological Conservation, 122, 173-180


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

Use prescribed burning Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A before-and-after, site comparison study in 1982–1997 in a shrubland in the Western Cape, South Africa (Watson et al. 2005) found that Cape mountain zebra Equus zebra zebra used burned areas more than unburned areas, and 92% of foals were produced in the three years post-fire compared to 8% in the three years pre-fire. Mountain zebras with access to burned areas used those areas 83% of the time (data not provided). By comparison, whilst the total areas burned were not stated, 23% of fires in the south east section and 89% of fires in the north burned ≤25% the area. Of the foals produced within three years of a fire, 24 were produced in the three years post-fire compared to two pre-fire. Mountain zebras were monitored in two of three sections of the 9,428-ha nature reserve, the north (2,263 ha) and south-east (3,583 ha), where zebras mostly occurred. One of nine fires recorded since establishment of the reserve in 1974 was a prescribed fire (year not stated), others were natural fires (average interval between fires was seven years). Use of burned and unburned areas was monitored between the fires of 1992 and 1996. The number of foals produced was monitored three years before and after the fires of 1982, 1992, 1996–1997.

(Summarised by Rebecca Smith)