Evaluation of habitat use of a semi-captive population of Cuvier’s gazelles Gazella cuvieri following release in Boukornine National Park, Tunisia.
Acta Theriologica 50(3):405-415. DOI:10.1007/BF03192635.
Thirteen Cuvier’s gazelles were relocated to a 6-ha acclimatization enclosure in Boukornine National Park (Boukornine NP) in Tunisia, where they are part of a reintroduction project. To determine the degree of adaptation and habitat use under the new conditions, the acclimatization enclosure was divided into 6 sections according to topography, plant cover and plant species in the area. Signs of gazelle activity were coded as feeding site, paths, passages, feces and resting places. Sampling was done in spring, summer and autumn from September 2000 to July 2001. Multivariate analysis using PATN analysis and Χ2 distribution tests were used to analyze the data. Multivariate analysis yielded 5 groups of biotopes according to the above variables. The Χ2 distribution test showed the significant effect of each variable on the presence of signs of gazelles. Cuvier’s gazelles prefer areas with low and west to north facing slopes and scant plant cover; animals are attracted to the proximity of the fence as the limit of their territory and even though the presence of humans does not represent a disturbance, gazelles select areas far (> 50 m) from the supplementary feeding and water supply for their activities.