African Buffalo

African Buffalo

The activities of our team mainly focus on the ecological factors driving space use and mobility of large African ungulates, in particular African buffalo. Using telemetry devices (GPS collars) and new models of spatial analysis, we aim at determining the processes underlying movements and space use patterns in wildlife.
In West Africa (Regional Park; Niger, Burkina Faso, Benin), we studied how exogenous factors (surface water, watersheds, primary production, vegetation types) and endogenous factors (water dependence, space sharing) jointly affect the dynamics of space and habitat use by West African savannah buffalo (Syncerus caffer brachyceros). In contrast to Cape buffalo (S. c. caffer), little was known for this subspecies which occupies the north-western edge of the whole species geographical range. Herds were monitored with collars providing GPS locations at least every 3 hours. At smaller scale and higher sampling rates (i.e. daily movements monitored at fix intervals of 10 minutes), and though path retracements, we analyzed the feeding ecology and the activity patterns of breeding herds.
In Southern Africa (Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area – GLTFCA), our work focuses on the mobility of wild ungulates involved in epidemiological cycles of zoonoses, and the spatial interactions between wild and domestic animals (health hazards, conflicts for space and resources). Buffalo is known to be one of the main species responsible for the maintenance and potential spread of diseases through the GLTFCA (among which bovine tuberculosis). Our objective is thus to contribute to improve the understanding of buffalo movements across the national borders of the GLTFCA (South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambic), and interactions with livestock, in order to assess the risks of disease transmission.

Contact

Daniel Cornélis
Centre International de Recherche en Agronomie pour le Développement
U.R. 22. : Animal et Gestion Intégrée des Risques
Campus de Baillarguet TA C-22 / E (Bât. E, Bur. 103)
34398 Montpellier cedex 5 France
Tel (+33) 4 67 59 38 08
Fax (+33) 4 67 59 37 99