Study Areas: In order to have a full compliment of study areas, I choose to compare National Parks/nature preserves vs farms and natural areas. The inclusion of national parks and nature preserves (i.e., Venetia Limpopo) was necessary because few locations still had a full compliment of fauna (e.g., predators and large herbivores). These areas would act as controls so that I could better assess changes upon the system after removal of those large fauna components. The farm sites served as areas that had intensive use of habitats, confined by game fencing with mixing of cattle and wildlife. The natural areas were unfenced, but also had mixed livestock and wildlife use.
Census Methods: Point counts and road surveys were conducted for mammals. Point counts and mist-netting were undertaken for birds. Most areas were initially covered by vehicle and specific study sites assigned. Systematic counts of mammals were made along a selection of roads in each study area. Timing of mammal counts was done throughout the day in order to maximize information obtained during the short time period in Africa. All bird counts were done in the morning, with mist-netting following each bird count period. Where permission could be obtained, birds were banded and a drop of blood taken for hematozoan (e.g., malaria) parasite analysis.