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Population status, Distribution and Threats to the Nile lechwe (Kobus megaceros, M.T.Von Heuglin,1853) in the Sudd Wetland, South Sudan (2012)

Latest version published by Ministry of Environment and Forestry on Aug 20, 2018 Ministry of Environment and Forestry

The study was conducted between January and March 2010, within an area covering about 70,456 km2 of the Sudd Wetland in South Sudan, the distribution, population status and threats to the Nile lechwe were examined. Using systematic flight and questionnaires, results showed that Nile lechwes were distributed at the periphery of the Sudd Wetland.57.6 % of the population occurred outside protected areas, while 42.4% were observed inside Zeraf Game Reserve. The population was estimated to be 11,043 ( 7,839), there appears to be a significant decline between 1980 and 2010 Nile lechwe’s population estimates (χ2 = 33.7; Df =1; P = 0.00) and there was no significant difference between 2007 and 2010 population estimate on the lower side (χ2 =2.585; Df=1; P =0.108). A significant correlation was also observed between the Nile lechwe’s distribution and human activity signs (r2= 0.688 (69%); P=0.00). The civil war was perceived as the greatest threat to the Nile lechwe followed by firearms used during hunting. Among other perceieved threats were hunting, wildfire, increase in livestock densities, agricultural expansion, floods, diseases, Jonglei canal reconstruction, drought, oil exploration and dykes. Over 38.9% of the population were aware of the existence of a game reserve, 53.3% knew the existence of Wildlife laws and 65.6% had cultural values associated with the Nile lechwe, these were seen as indirect threats to the Nile lechwe and its habitat. If these activities continues uncontrolled, the future of Nile lechwe will be in jeopardy. To conserve the Nile lechwe an integrated management strategy addressing the threats would be need.

Data Records

The data in this occurrence resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 61 records.

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.

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Data as a DwC-A file download 61 records in English (7 KB) - Update frequency: unknown
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Versions

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The publisher and rights holder of this work is Ministry of Environment and Forestry. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC-BY-NC) 4.0 License.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: dbca12a3-a1d0-42bf-8535-c30aa349faa7.  Ministry of Environment and Forestry publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by Participant Node Managers Committee.

Keywords

Occurrence; Observation; Nile lechwe; Sudd wetland; Observation

Contacts

Who created the resource:

Charles Lwanga
Biodiversity Database Manager
Ministry of Environment and Forestry Juba SS
Paul Demetry
D/Director for Biodiversity/CBD & IGAD-BMP National Focal Point
Ministry of Environment and Forestry Bilpam Road Juba SS
http://www.mef-ssd.org

Who can answer questions about the resource:

Charles Lwanga
Biodiversity Database Manager
Ministry of Environment and Forestry SS

Who filled in the metadata:

Charles Lwanga
Biodiversity Database Manager
Ministry of Environment and Forestry SS

Who else was associated with the resource:

Publisher
Lawrence Monda
ICT Manager
National Museums of Kenya Museum Hill Road 40658 Nairobi Nairobi KE
http://www.museums.or.ke
Processor
Esther Mwangi
Research Scientist
National Museums of Kenya Museum Hill Road 40658 Nairobi Nairobi KE
http://www.museums.or.ke

Geographic Coverage

The Sudd is located in the central part of South Sudan. It is bordered by Lakes state in the southwest, Unity state in the northwest, Upper Nile state in the Northeast and Jonglei state in the southeast. It lies between the towns of Bor in the South (Jonglei state) and Malakal in the northeast (Upper Nile state), at latitude 8.411462 and 30.706021.

Bounding Coordinates South West [6.375, 29.85], North East [9.579, 31.432]

Taxonomic Coverage

All the Nile lechwe or Mrs Gray's lechwe (Kobus megaceros) were identified to species level.

Kingdom  Animalia
Phylum  Chordata
Class  Mammalia
Order  Artiodactyla
Family  Bovidae
Genus  Kobus
Species  megaceros

Project Data

In a study conducted between January and March 2010, within an area covering about 70,456 km2of the Sudd Wetland in South Sudan, the distribution, population status and threats to the Nile lechwe were examined. Using systematic flight and questionnaires, results showed that Nile lechwes were distributed at the periphery of the Sudd Wetland. 57.6 % of the population occurred outside protected areas, while 42.4% were observed inside Zeraf Game Reserve. The population was estimated to be 11,043 ( 7,839), there appears to be a significant decline between 1980 and 2010 Nile lechwe’s population estimates (χ2 = 33.7; Df =1; P = 0.00) and there was no significant difference between 2007 and 2010 population estimate on the lower side (χ2 =2.585; Df=1; P =0.108). A significant correlation was also observed between the Nile lechwe’s distribution and human activity signs (r2= 0.688 (69%); P=0.00). The civil war was perceived as the greatest threat to the Nile lechwe followed by firearms used during hunting. Among other precieved threats were hunting, wildfire, increase in livestock densities, agricultural expansion, floods, diseases, Jonglei canal reconstruction, drought, oil exploration and dykes. Over 38.9% of the population were aware of the existence of a game reserve, 53.3% knew the existence of Wildlife laws and 65.6% had cultural values associated with the Nile lechwe, these were seen as indirect threats to the Nile lechwe and its habitat. If these activities continues uncontrolled, the future of Nile lechwe will be in jeopardy. To conserve the Nile lechwe an integrated management strategy addressing the threats would be need.

Title Population status, Distribution and Threats to the Nile lechwe (Kobus megaceros, M.T. Von Heuglin, 1853) in the Sudd Wetland, South Sudan
Identifier BID-AF2017-0386-NAC
Funding Charlotte Fellowship Program through African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Southern Sudan Program
Study Area Description The Sudd is located in the central part of South Sudan. It is bordered by Lakes state in the southwest, Unity state in the northwest, Upper Nile state in the Northeast and Jonglei state in the southeast. It lies between the towns of Bor in the South (Jonglei state) and Malakal in the northeast (Upper Nile state), at latitudes 07°34', 09°N and 29°, 30°39'E (UNEP, 2007). The permanent swamps of the Sudd start on the west bank of the Bahr el Jebel 10 km north of Juba, at a point (4°55'N/31°38'E) near Gondokoro Village, and on the east bank (5°00'N/31°41'E) near the village of Tibari, some 20 km North of Juba. North of Mongalla (5°12'N/31°46'E) the river channel widens in places to more than 2 km, bifurcates at latitude 5°30'N, and flows in three or more channels for some distance north of Buka (5°47'N). The banks, which are generally clearly defined in the upper reaches of the Sudd, become lower and finally disappear north of Bor (6°14'N/31 °34'E). The swamp then widens, with numerous lakes and parallel streams, all beset with islands of floating papyrus. Between Mongalla and Bor the swamps are 10-13 km wide over a straight line distance of 115 km, but north of Bor they widen to 25 km and with the peripheral floodplains are wider still. Major channels occur to the east, and there are several large lakes enclosed by permanent swamps on both banks, e.g. Lakes Fajarial (6°22'N/31°26'E) and Nuong (7°26'N/30°34'E) on the west bank. Both have open water areas close to 2500 ha, and there are at least 40 other lakes between Bor and Zeraf Cuts (7°46'N/ 30°32'E) on this stretch of the river. At Zeraf Cuts two canals on the east bank join the main channel of the Bahr el Jebel with the Bahr el Zeraf, but only the southern canal is kept open. Here, water flows from the Bahr el Jebel to the Bahr el Zeraf, which reenters the Bahr el Jebel near Tonga (9°22'N/31°06'E) and thus isolates Zeraf Island between the two rivers. This island, east of the Bahr el Jebel, 180 km long and up to 65 km wide, was once mostly dry land, but following the rise in water levels which has been sustained since the 1963-64 floods, it has become a seasonal floodplain. Meanwhile the seasonal floodplain on the west bank of the Bahr el Jebel is 25 km wide in places and at Lake No (9°31'N/30°27'E), 190 km due north of Zeraf Cuts, the Bahr el Jebel receives the Bahr el Ghazal. This river flows North East (NE) for 200 km through a broad swampy tract to reach Lake No, a shallow lake of some 2000 ha. From Lake No, the river, now often known as the White Nile, swings abruptly eastwards for 115 km to a confluence with the Sobat River (9°22'N/31°33'E). It then flows northeastwards, past Malakal, having left the Sudd above the Sobat. The riverine distance through the Sudd, between Gondokoro and the Sobat confluence exceeds 680 km, and the total area of permanent wetland, including lakes and open river surface, is in the region of 1 650 000 ha, to which can be added at least a further 1 500 000 ha of seasonally inundated floodplain (Ramsar, 2009).
Design Description Aerial surveys were conducted in the Sudd Wetland. The Jonglei survey zone covers Shambe National Park on the western part and Zeraf Game Reserve on the eastern side of the river Nile (Figure.1). The method used for collecting data on population distribution, size/density and threats were normal Systematic Reconnaissance Flight (SRF) which have been developed and used in East Africa (Norton Griffiths, 1978). The aerial surveys conducted in this study followed those of the earlier studies in Southern Sudan (Mefit-Babtie, 1983 and Fay et al., 2007). The aerial survey method involved recording observations on both sides of the aircraft Cessna 182 and C206 fixed wings along the flight path. The sample strip width was set by two parallel rods attached to the airplanes wing struts on both sides of the plane. Observers concentrated between the rods. Before the survey, the distance separating the rods was calibrated through test flights. The mean number of objects (White A4 papers) counted was calculated for each team. In this way a relationship of flight height and strip width for each observer team was established. Transects were placed systematically across the survey zone at a spacing of 10 km. All transects were flown in an east-west and west-east direction, perpendicular to the main drainage. Transects of different lengths ranging from 83.5Km to 250km were flown at 145 km/hour at a height of 300 ft above the ground. Transects were flown from daybreak up to 11:00 am. The two aircrafts were assigned transects to the far north and south of the study area to avoid accidents. The survey team consisted of four members; a pilot, a front seat observer (FSO), and two rear seat observers (RSO) on each aircraft for the entire survey period. The pilot flew the aircraft, navigates, and takes laser altimeter readings. The front seat observer recorded a geographical position for each observation called out using a handheld Global Positioning System (GPS) and inserted all observations in a data sheet using a tablet laptop. The FSO also operates a moving map display to coordinate the flight plan. In addition, the FSO takes photographs of wildlife, habitat, and human activities. The rear seat observer called out and all observations based on the aerial survey protocol (appendix iii). Each observer and the pilot had a headset connected to an intercom device which enabled the team to communicate with each other in the aircraft and the pilot switched from time to time to communicate with the control tower or the other pilot in the other transects. The survey was conducted in dry season for better visibility.

The personnel involved in the project:

Author
Charles Lwanga

Additional Metadata

Alternative Identifiers dbca12a3-a1d0-42bf-8535-c30aa349faa7
http://ipt.museums.or.ke/ipt/resource?r=nilelechwe