Abstract. Conservation planning in the Cape Floristic Region, a recognized world plant diversity hotspot, required systematic information on the estimated distributions and spatial requirements of the medium‐ to large‐sized mammals within each of 102 Broad Habitat Units delineated according to key biophysical parameters. As a consequence of a general lack of data, we derived a pragmatic approach for obtaining estimates of these two parameters. Distribution estimates were based on a combination of a literature survey (with emphasis on early texts) and the ecological requirements of the species. Spatial requirement estimates were derived from a simple spreadsheet model that is based on forage availability estimates and the metabolic requirements of the mammals in question. Our analysis incorporated adaptations of the agriculture‐based Large Stock Unit or Animal Unit approach. The predictions of the model were tested by comparing them with actual density data. The outcomes provided realistic estimates of the two parameters. However, they should be considered as testable hypotheses and the concept of adaptive management — or management by hypothesis — must apply. Examples of the outcomes are provided in the form of maps and tables.
Diversity and Distributions – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2001
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