This study assesses elephant induced damage and mortality of baobab and common star-chestnut trees in the northern Kruger National Park. Comparisons are made between the populations north and south of the Luvuvhu River. The density, population size and age structure are estimated. The population structure of neither species has been shaped by elephant utilisation. While the baobab population has a healthy age distribution, that of the star-chestnut population shows that recruitment has declined in recent decades. Utilisation has been found to be higher in the south as a result of higher elephant densities, although recently damage has been greater in the north. Damage increases with tree size. The mortality of baobabs is lower than in other areas where elephants and baobabs co-exist. Elephants are not playing a significant role in mortality of either tree species and management of factors other than elephant is required to improve regeneration rates of these species.
Dissertation (MSc (Wildlife Management))--University of Pretoria, 2007.