Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Koedoe]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0075-645820180001&lang=en vol. 60 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Settling the browser-grazer debate for African buffalo in grass-limited Eastern Cape thicket, South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0075-64582018000100001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Despite extensive evidence that African buffalo Syncerus caffer are grazers, De Graaff et al. using rumen content analysis of animals that had starved to death proposed that buffalo in grass-limited Eastern Cape thicket should be considered browsers. Although these anomalous findings were initially accepted, but later challenged, the browse-dominated diet continues to be used as a foundation for hypotheses on the diet of healthy animals. Consequently, the debate around buffalo as browsers or grazers in thicket has not yet been settled. We describe the diet of buffalo in the Addo Elephant National Park and include data from other published work from the region to test the importance of grass in buffalo diet. We show that the diet is dominated by grasses, even in grass-limited thicket, and that browse species are seldom dominant foods. Thus, there is no empirical evidence to corroborate the notion that buffalo switch their diet to browse when grass availability is low. In an attempt to advance our understanding of buffalo foraging in thicket, we reiterate that De Graaff's work is not a valid measure of buffalo diet in succulent thicket and that additional testing of the browser-grazer hypothesis is not needed. CONSERVATION IMPLICATIONS: Our results confirm that buffalo are grazers, rather than browsers, in grass-limited Eastern Cape thicket. Thus, additional testing of the browser-grazer hypothesis for buffalo in the region is not needed. <![CDATA[<b>The operational competitiveness of public protected areas managed by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0075-64582018000100002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The purpose of this study was to measure the operational competitiveness of public protected areas (PPAs) in the KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa. Financial data for ecotourism operations in PPAs were collected from Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (EKZNW) for 2007-2013, to construct an operational competitiveness profile for each PPA by using a non-parametric method called operational competitiveness rating analysis (OCRA). The results show that permanent staff, utilities, maintenance and repairs, and cost of sales were cost items with the highest average share of total costs, whereas accommodation, admissions, sales and tours, and rides and hikes received higher average shares of total revenues for most PPAs. The identification of the most important cost and revenue items was followed by the computation of resource consumption and revenue generation inefficiency ratings from 2007 to 2013, with the results showing that resource competitiveness had more impact on operational competitiveness relative to revenue competitiveness. This suggests that PPAs under EKZNW can improve operational competitiveness by reducing costs. Ecotourism is an economic incentive used in several countries to encourage biodiversity conservation. Because of declining public funding, conservation agencies such as EKZNW in South Africa should find new sources of funding or find cost-effective ways of managing ecotourism operations. CONSERVATION IMPLICATIONS: This information will provide insights into the quality of operational efficiencies of ecotourism activities at EKZNW-controlled PPAs and motivate management to adopt cost-cutting and revenue-increasing strategies to improve operational competitiveness. <![CDATA[<b>Community harvesting of trees used as dens and for food by the tree hyrax (<i>Dendrohyrax arboreus</i>) in the Pirie forest, South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0075-64582018000100003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Forests in South Africa are harvested by local communities for multiple purposes and this affects the animals that inhabit them. The tree hyrax (Dendrohyrax arboreus) has a restricted distribution and utilises various tree species as dens and a source of food. In this article, we determined, through a series of interviews in the communities surrounding the Pirie forest, which plant species are harvested by local people and whether these overlap with those used by the tree hyrax. In addition, we determined the extent to which tree hyraxes are hunted by these communities. Of the trees used by the hyrax as dens in the Pirie forest, Afrocarpus falcatus, Schotia latifolia, Andrachne ovalis, Teclea natalensis and Apodytes dimidiata are important resources for local communities. But as these are harvested at relatively low levels, it is unlikely that current harvesting has a large impact on the tree hyrax. Opportunistic hunting occurs, but the hyrax is not targeted by hunters. Very limited commercial harvesting of A. falcatus has been taking place in the Pirie forest since 1975, but its impact on the hyrax population, although undetermined, is also unlikely to be high. We recommend that the Pirie forest tree hyrax population should be monitored by forest management in order to ascertain the impact of both commercial and community harvesting over the past quarter century. CONSERVATION IMPLICATIONS: Tree hyrax populations in the Pirie forest should be actively monitored by management on an annual basis. <![CDATA[<b>Plant communities of the uMlalazi Nature Reserve and their contribution to conservation in KwaZulu-Natal</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0075-64582018000100004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Vegetation research is an important tool for the simplified and effective identification, management and conservation of the very complex ecosystems underlying them. Plant community descriptions offer scientists a summary and surrogate of all the biotic and abiotic factors shaping and driving ecosystems. The aim of this study was to identify, describe and map the plant communities within the uMlalazi Nature Reserve. A total of 149 vegetation plots were sampled using the Braun-Blanquet technique. Thirteen plant communities were identified using a combination of numeric classification (modified Two-way-Indicator Species Analysis) and ordination (non-metric multidimensional scaling). These communities were described in terms of their structure, floristic composition and distribution. An indirect gradient analysis of the ordination results was conducted to investigate the relationship between plant communities and their potentially important underlying environmental drivers. Based on the results, the floristic conservation importance of each plant community was discussed to provide some means to evaluate the relative contribution of the reserve to regional ecosystem conservation targets. CONSERVATION IMPLICATIONS: The uMlalazi Nature Reserve represents numerous ecosystems that are disappearing from a rapidly transforming landscape outside of formally protected areas in Zululand. The descriptions of the plant communities of these relatively pristine ecosystems provide conservation authorities with inventories and benchmarks with which the ecological health of similar ecosystems in the region can be measured. <![CDATA[<b>Ground-dwelling spider assemblages in contrasting habitats in the central South African Grassland Biome</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0075-64582018000100005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en BACKGROUND: Ground-dwelling spider assemblages in shrublands and cultivated pastures in the South African Grassland Biome have never been comprehensively studied. OBJECTIVES: Epigeic spiders were collected in eight different habitats in the Amanzi Private Game Reserve in the Free State to determine assemblages of different vegetation types. METHODS: Three of the sampled habitats were contrasting low-lying shrublands; three were contrasting hill aspects (northern slope, southern slope and plateau) in the Buddleja saligna-Searsia burchellii-Olea europaea africana subcommunity; one habitat was cultivated Digitaria eriantha pastures, and the last habitat was an area in and around a freshwater dam. Spiders were sampled by pitfall trapping in early spring (Sept. 2012), mid-summer (Jan. 2013), mid-autumn (Apr. 2013) and mid-winter (July 2013). RESULTS: A total of 2982 adult spiders were collected, representing 129 species and 33 families. Ammoxenidae was the most abundant family (40.85%), followed by Gnaphosidae (21.26%), Zodariidae (10.80%) and Salticidae (10.26%). Gnaphosidae was the most species-rich family (24.81%), followed by Salticidae (13.18%), Lycosidae (11.63%) and Zodariidae (6.20%). Spider activity densities and species richness did not differ significantly between habitats, although significant seasonal fluctuations were detected. The three hill aspects and cultivated D. eriantha pastures had the most distinct assemblages, while those of the three low-lying shrublands and freshwater dam showed considerable overlap CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that the aspect of hills has a significant effect in shaping spider assemblages, while the vegetation composition of shrublands is not strongly influential. The unique spider assemblages of cultivated D. eriantha pastures can be attributed to the absence of woody plants. CONSERVATION IMPLICATIONS: This was the first study to investigate ground-dwelling spider assemblages in shrublands and cultivated pastures in the South African Grassland Biome. Our study confirms that hill aspects, shrublands and pastures harbour very different spider faunas. When identifying land for potential expansion or establishment of protected areas, conservation planners should ensure that the greatest diversity of vegetation units are included to optimise the conservation of biodiversity. <![CDATA[<b>Movement patterns and home range size of tigerfish (<i>Hydrocynus vittatus</i>) in the Incomati River system, South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0075-64582018000100006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Historical data suggested that the tigerfish (Hydrocynus vittatus) of the Incomati River migrates upstream and downstream as part of their life history. It has been suggested that this movement was a prerequisite for successful spawning in inundated floodplains in Mozambique. Recent advances in aquatic radio telemetry provided a reliable mechanism to monitor fish movement and increase knowledge of the ecology of tigerfish. From 04 January 2003 to 22 December 2003, 41 tigerfish in the Incomati River system were fitted with radio transmitters to record movement patterns and estimate home range size. On average, each fish was tracked 72 times, and the total number of fixes was 2971 over the study period, including 1322 summer fixes and 1649 winter fixes. The mean longest distance travelled by tigerfish was 730 m (range = 75 m to 3200 m). The home range size varied between individual fish, but on average fish stayed within a defined home range of 48 846 m². Tigerfish showed high site fidelity to specific habitats within specific activity zones and movement occurred primarily within these defined zones. Differences in movement pattern, longest distance travelled and home range size could not be attributed to the sex or size of the fish. No large-scale movement patterns associated with specific life history activity were observed; thus, previous reports of large-scale downstream migrations and spawning migrations appear to be invalid. The presence of weirs in the study area impedes free fish movement as these weirs create migration obstructions. CONSERVATION IMPLICATIONS: River regulation such as damming, water abstraction, obstructive barriers and channel modification may have a detrimental impact on the survival strategy of this species. Implementation of these results in a management policy will provide a reliable basis for species specific requirements such as upstream reservoir release management; minimum flow volumes required for downstream ecosystem maintenance and management and planning of structures obstructing natural flow. <![CDATA[<b>A survey of the ichthyofauna in the Noetsie Estuary, Western Cape Province, South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0075-64582018000100007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The fish assemblage in the Noetsie Estuary, a temporarily open and closed estuary on the southern coast of South Africa, was sampled using multiple gears. A total of 12 species from 8 families were recorded. Collectively, estuarine-dependent marine species dominated seine net catches numerically and in terms of biomass for both sampling seasons. Estuarine round herring (Gilchristella aestuaria) was numerically the dominant species in late summer, while juvenile Mugilidae dominated catches in winter. Size class distributions of various fish species indicate that the estuary both serves a nursery function for important euryhaline marine species and supports estuarine resident taxa. Application of the Estuarine Fish Community Index indicates the ecological condition of the estuary to be 'good'. This study contributes to the species list for the estuary while also reporting the presence of an alien invasive freshwater species, Gambusia affinis. Recommendations include the development of a management plan and the formalisation of an estuarine management committee. CONSERVATION IMPLICATIONS: The Noetsie Estuary serves a nursery function for important euryhaline marine species, while supporting healthy populations of estuarine resident taxa. The presence of one alien invasive fish species is documented with potential implications for the conservation of biodiversity in the estuary. <![CDATA[<b>Long-term variability in vegetation productivity in relation to rainfall, herbivory and fire in Tswalu Kalahari Reserve</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0075-64582018000100008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Exploring the long-term influence of climate and land use on vegetation change allows for a more robust understanding of how vegetation is likely to respond in the future. To inform management, this study investigated the relationship between vegetation productivity trends and potential drivers of change in the 110 000 ha of the Tswalu Kalahari Reserve between 2000 and 2015, using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI, MOD13Q1). Spatio-temporal variability of the EVI was mapped and then related to the historical records of precipitation, animal numbers and fire occurrences. Long-term trends in productivity were analysed by residual trend analysis (RESTREND). Significantly different EVI profiles were found between vegetation types, and this was related to the structure and function of the vegetation, as well as the effects of soil reflectance. The EVI time-series signalled spatial and temporal heterogeneity in plant productivity, which was strongly correlated with rainfall, although fire and especially herbivory had noteworthy localised effects on productivity. The RESTREND identified a significant positive trend in plant productivity in shrub-dominated vegetation types, providing evidence for the ongoing thickening of woody species. Significant negative trends in productivity were associated with artificial water points and more heavily stocked areas, leading to degradation. CONSERVATION IMPLICATIONS: The southern Kalahari has a highly variable rainfall regime, which is tied to a dynamic vegetation response. This variability should be taken into account when making management decisions. Field-based monitoring together with adaptive management approaches are needed in the face of an uncertain future in which significant warming is expected. <![CDATA[<b>Blowflies as vectors of <i>Bacillus anthracis</i> in the Kruger National Park</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0075-64582018000100009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Anthrax, caused by Bacillus anthracis, is endemic in the Kruger National Park (KNP). The epidemiology of B. anthracis is dependent on various factors including vectors. The aims of this study were to examine non-biting blowflies for the presence of B. anthracis externally and internally after feeding on an anthrax-infected carcass and to determine the role of flies in disseminating B. anthracis onto the surrounding vegetation. During an anthrax outbreak in 2014 in the endemic Pafuri region, blowflies associated with two 2-3-day-old anthrax-positive carcasses (kudu and impala) as well as surrounding vegetation were collected and investigated for the presence of B. anthracis spores. The non-biting blowflies (n = 57) caught included Chrysomya albiceps, Ch. marginalis and Lucilia spp. Bacillus anthracis spores were isolated from 65.5% and 25.0% of blowflies collected from the kudu and impala carcasses, respectively. Chrysomya albiceps and Ch. marginalis have the potential to disseminate B. anthracis to vegetation from infected carcasses and may play a role in the epidemiology of anthrax in the KNP. No B. anthracisspores were initially isolated from leaves of the surrounding vegetation using selective media. However, 170 and 500 spores were subsequently isolated from Abutilon angulatum and Acacia sp. leaves, respectively, when using sheep blood agar. CONSERVATION IMPLICATIONS: The results obtained in this study have no direct conservation implications and only assist in the understanding of the spread of the disease. <![CDATA[<b>Challenges and opportunities for monitoring wild Nile crocodiles with scute mark-recapture photography</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0075-64582018000100010&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The global conservation status of Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) was last assessed in 1996. The species presents particular difficulty in monitoring because it can be cryptic, require expertise to handle, and caudal tail tags and transmitters are often lost. Some studies advocate mark-recapture techniques based on photograph identification of the unique scute markings of crocodile tails as a non-invasive means of monitoring their populations. Researchers developed this method with crocodiles in captivity. In this study, we test the technique under field conditions by monitoring crocodiles from 2015 to 2017 in the Sunset Dam in the Kruger National Park. Using a Cormack-Jolly-Seber open population model, we found that the dam may host 15-30 individuals, but that there is a high turnover of individuals and much uncertainty in model outputs. The dam's population thus has high rates of immigration and emigration. The method proved challenging under field conditions, as there was bias in identifying scute markings consistently. The efficient use of the method requires an exceptional quality of photographic equipment. Animal crypsis, however, remains an issue. In this study, we discuss how to improve the mark-recapture photography methodology, especially to adapt the technique for citizen science initiatives. CONSERVATION IMPLICATIONS: Using scute mark-recapture photography presents challenges under field conditions. These challenges require innovative, practical and analytical solutions to successfully use the technique before monitoring programmes, aimed at ensuring the persistence of crocodiles in the wild, can be implemented. <![CDATA[<b>South African National Survey of Arachnida: A checklist of the spiders (Arachnida, Araneae) of the Tswalu Kalahari Reserve in the Northern Cape province, South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0075-64582018000100011&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en One of the aims of South African National Survey of Arachnida (SANSA) is to survey protected areas to obtain species-specific information and compile inventories to determine species distribution patterns and evaluate their conservation status for Red Data assessments. The aim of this study, the first in a series of surveys of the Diamond Route Reserves, was to compile the first checklist of the spider species in the Northern Cape at the Tswalu Kalahari Reserve. Spiders were collected during three survey periods (2005−2013) using different collecting methods to sample both the ground and field layers. In total, 32 families represented by 108 genera and 136 species have been collected so far. The most species-rich families are the Salticidae (20 spp.) and Thomisidae (18 spp.), followed by the Gnaphosidae and Araneidae (11 spp. each), while nine families are represented by singletons. The free-living wandering spiders represent 97 spp., while 39 spp. are web-builders. Information on spider guilds, endemicity value and conservation status are provided. The Tswalu Kalahari Reserve protects approximately 6.1% of the total South African spider fauna, while 24.3% of the species found in the reserve are South African endemics, of which 5.9% are Northern Cape endemics. Approximately 6.0% of the species sampled are possibly new to science or represent new records for South Africa. CONSERVATION IMPLICATIONS: The Tswalu Kalahari Reserve falls within the Savanna Biome in the Northern Cape province. Only one spider species was previously known from the reserve; a further 135 spp. are reported for the first time, with 5.9% of the species being Northern Cape endemics and 24.3% South African endemics. Approximately 6.0% of the species may be new to science or represent new records for South Africa. <![CDATA[<b>The 2013-2014 vegetation structure map of Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, produced using free satellite images and software</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0075-64582018000100012&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Vegetation mapping of protected areas is a cornerstone of conservation worldwide. Established in 1928 and covering over 1.4 million hectares, Hwange National Park (HNP) is the largest natural reserve in Zimbabwe. In 1993, the sole comprehensive map of its vegetation to date was produced and since then it has been used in numerous research and conservation endeavours. Over the last two decades, however, the park's vegetation changed, safari areas and forest reserves were created at its edge and high-positional accuracy data on a suite of species were collected. To tend to contemporary mapping needs, in this article, we present the 2013-2014 vegetation structure map of HNP and its surroundings. It was produced by supervised classification of Landsat-8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) images, indices derived from these and the Landsat Tree Cover Continuous Field product. Its accuracy was assessed statistically using samples collected from high-resolution satellite imagery and basic ancillary field data. Of its total pixels, 83.2% were correctly classified. Mean omission and commission error were, respectively, 0.82 (0.74-0.90) and 0.82 (0.72-0.89), and this similarity held on a per class basis, indicating reliable area estimates. It was produced using only freely available imagery and software. Conservation implications: In addition to providing researchers and conservationists working within and around HNP with an updated vegetation map, aiming at an even broader audience, we provide a step-by-step approach for using modern freely available imagery and software for cost-effectively mapping HNP in future or other protected savannas across Africa. <![CDATA[<b>Seasonal variation in species richness and abundance of waterbirds in Mole National Park, Ghana: Implication for conservation and ecotourism</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0075-64582018000100013&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Mole National Park is the largest and the oldest national park in Ghana and an important bird area, yet its waterbird fauna is poorly documented because it is situated in the northern ecological zone far away from the coast of Ghana. Information on the seasonal variation in the park's bird abundance and diversity is generally patchy but necessary for effective birdwatching planning and management of the park's birds. Therefore, as a guide to potential ecotourists interested in waterbirds, this study described the seasonal variation in waterbird species diversity and abundance at Mole National Park. As waterbirds mostly congregate around open wetlands and their abundance is more appropriately determined by counting all individuals in the congregant, data were collected using the total area count of waterbirds from August 2015 to October 2015 (the wet season) and from December 2015 to February 2016 (the dry season). Secondary data on arrival of tourists in the park were also analysed. The park's waterbird species richness was 29 in the dry season compared to 18 in the wet season. There was significant difference (p < 0.05) in the abundance of waterbirds in the dry season in which 4014 waterbirds were encountered compared to 646 in the wet season. The yearly tourist arrival data at Mole National Park shows an increasing trend with peak visitation period occurring during the wet season. The chances of tourists encountering more species and numbers of waterbirds in the park are higher in the dry season compared to the wet season. Conservation implications: Species richness and abundance of waterbirds in Mole National Park varied according to the wet and dry seasons with both the number of species and abundance higher in the dry season than the wet season. It is therefore indicative that most birdwatchers who visit the park in the wet season miss out on a number of species and numbers of waterbirds. To achieve effective birdwatching, management should schedule birdwatching activities to coincide with the dry season as the chances of encountering more species and numbers of waterbirds are higher. <![CDATA[<b>Occupancy and habitat use by six species of forest ungulates on Tiwai Island, Sierra Leone</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0075-64582018000100014&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Forest ungulates in West Africa are common bushmeat species and are subject to habitat degradation through deforestation. Based on historical data, there are possibly 12 species of forest Bovidae and Tragulidae found in eastern Sierra Leone. We used camera trapping to assess occupancy by forest ungulates on and around a small protected area, Tiwai Island, Sierra Leone. We then assessed habitat over two field seasons during 2008-2011 for those species where we had sufficient numbers of detections. We detected 6 of 12 potential species and obtained enough data to further assess the habitat of two species. Species detected included the black duiker (Cephalophus niger), bongo (Tragelaphus eurycerus), bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus), Maxwell's duiker (Philantomba maxwellii), water chevrotain (Hyemoschus aquaticus) and yellow-backed duiker (Cephalophus silvicultor). Among detected species, the bongo is considered near threatened. Several of the species not detected might be extirpated from the region, but for several species we found no records of them in the area. For the two species with sufficient detections for analysis, we found that Maxwell's duikers were common throughout woody and swamp habitat and yellow-backed duikers preferred old growth forests with open understory. Despite widespread deforestation in Sierra Leone, a recent civil war and continued bushmeat trade, it appears that small wildlife refuges such as Tiwai Island continue to provide sanctuary for many of the forest ungulates of the region. Conservation implications: The Guinea Rainforest ecosystem of West Africa has undergone significant human impact and deforestation, negatively impacting all aspects of the biodiversity of the region. In addition, a long-standing civil war in Sierra Leone further exacerbated conservation concerns of many wildlife species. There are some recognised reserves in Sierra Leone, but small reserves managed by local people and conservation organisations have a role to play. Our work on Tiwai Island, along the Moa River in Sierra Leone, demonstrated that a significant proportion of the forest dwelling ungulate biodiversity of the region has been maintained in a small reserve despite isolation and effects of the war. Our work also suggests that Tiwai Island continues to have significant ecological value for ungulate conservation in the region and should be considered a model for establishment of other small reserves to help maintain the region's biodiversity. <![CDATA[<b>Review of National Park Science: A Century of Research in South Africa by Jane Carruthers</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0075-64582018000100015&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Forest ungulates in West Africa are common bushmeat species and are subject to habitat degradation through deforestation. Based on historical data, there are possibly 12 species of forest Bovidae and Tragulidae found in eastern Sierra Leone. We used camera trapping to assess occupancy by forest ungulates on and around a small protected area, Tiwai Island, Sierra Leone. We then assessed habitat over two field seasons during 2008-2011 for those species where we had sufficient numbers of detections. We detected 6 of 12 potential species and obtained enough data to further assess the habitat of two species. Species detected included the black duiker (Cephalophus niger), bongo (Tragelaphus eurycerus), bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus), Maxwell's duiker (Philantomba maxwellii), water chevrotain (Hyemoschus aquaticus) and yellow-backed duiker (Cephalophus silvicultor). Among detected species, the bongo is considered near threatened. Several of the species not detected might be extirpated from the region, but for several species we found no records of them in the area. For the two species with sufficient detections for analysis, we found that Maxwell's duikers were common throughout woody and swamp habitat and yellow-backed duikers preferred old growth forests with open understory. Despite widespread deforestation in Sierra Leone, a recent civil war and continued bushmeat trade, it appears that small wildlife refuges such as Tiwai Island continue to provide sanctuary for many of the forest ungulates of the region. Conservation implications: The Guinea Rainforest ecosystem of West Africa has undergone significant human impact and deforestation, negatively impacting all aspects of the biodiversity of the region. In addition, a long-standing civil war in Sierra Leone further exacerbated conservation concerns of many wildlife species. There are some recognised reserves in Sierra Leone, but small reserves managed by local people and conservation organisations have a role to play. Our work on Tiwai Island, along the Moa River in Sierra Leone, demonstrated that a significant proportion of the forest dwelling ungulate biodiversity of the region has been maintained in a small reserve despite isolation and effects of the war. Our work also suggests that Tiwai Island continues to have significant ecological value for ungulate conservation in the region and should be considered a model for establishment of other small reserves to help maintain the region's biodiversity.