South African Journal of Agricultural Extension
On-line version ISSN 2413-3221
LATEGAN, F. S.. The perceived impact of herd management practices on sustainable Springbuck (Antidorcas marsupialis) ranching in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. S Afr. Jnl. Agric. Ext. [online]. 2011, vol.39, n.2, pp. 15-29. ISSN 2413-3221.
Despite its relatively unregulated nature game ranching and utilisation is one of the more important agricultural economic activities and considered arguably the fastest growing enterprise in South Africa. Commercial springbuck (Antidorcas marsupialis) production systems are considered to be supreme examples of such commercial game ranching enterprises that have been established with varying degrees of efficiency and sustainability. Conversion to game ranching also seems to offer some answers to the increasing economic risks and decreasing sustainability associated with livestock farming in marginally profitable and low rainfall. The Eastern Cape Province is such an area. Earlier studies and associated literature suggest that market demand is steadily becoming highly sophisticated with very clear defined demands and expectations. A thorough understanding of game ranch managers' views on sustainability is imperative in order to develop some understanding on decision making regarding sustainability. The relative complexity of the decision making processes associated with commercial springbuck production (wildlife production) systems and the information needs of such decisions call for increased investigations into such processes. The development of instruments to assess the interrelationships of perceptions and decisions in these processes has therefore become of the utmost importance to ensure purposeful delivery of services and information to a highly competitive and diversified industry. This study is a contribution in this process of developing an instrument with which the nature and impact of production decisions on the sustainability of the wildlife ranching enterprise could be anticipated or even predicted.