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Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Environmental Conservation

Year Degree Awarded

Summer 2014

First Advisor

Todd Fuller

Second Advisor

Timothy Randhir

Third Advisor

David Damerey

Fourth Advisor

Stanley Stevens

Subject Categories

Biodiversity | Life Sciences

Abstract

The annual movements of white-eared kob (Kobus kob leucotis), tiang (Damaliscus korrigum tiang), in eastern South Sudan was investigated to provided appropriate information for developing effective conservation actions for the migratory kob. Although kob is the focus of the study tiang has been included as the two migrations are ecologically linked and overlap at least in the wet season.

During the 20 years of the civil war which ravaged South Sudan, the kob and tiang populations were thought to be severely hunted for food by both the combatants and local people to the extent that their populations may have drastically fallen to levels that put the migrations in danger. However, recent aerial transect surveys suggest that the white-eared kob population may still exceed 800,000, and while tiang may have been reduced from almost 500,000 to 160,000. Despite these findings, post-war resettlement of about a million people, along with much needed economic development projects, could seriously jeopardize the population of these species.

Effects of the above mentioned factors on the migrations were studied through aerial surveys and via GPS-collar tracking and documentation of the migration patterns during 2009-2010. Possible barriers to the migrations have been identified and mapped. Satellite-based forage biomass estimates was used in assessing migrations occurrence throughout the seasons. Effects of environmental variables on kob movements and distributions were investigated with binary logistic and regression models. The subsistence use of kob by the local communities living in/around the Boma National Park, which is kob’s dry season range, was assessed.

Conclusions and recommendations from findings of this study will contribute directly and help in developing conservation and management plans for the landscape and the kob migrations.

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