Dr. Charles van Riper III

Professor, School of Natural Resources and the Environment
USGS Research Scientist Emeritus  

Sonoran Desert Research Station
125 Biological Sciences East ~ University of Arizona ~Tucson, AZ 85721-125
(520) 626-7027 ~ (520) 670-5100 fax ~ (520) 491-0721 call

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Wildlife of South Africa at Venetia Limpopo and Silkaatskop 
Including Chief Kgosi Mmusi Moses Maotoe's Tribal Lands

A Study by Dr. Charles van Riper III with assistance from Eddie Westphal

   Introduction | Methods of Study | Study Areas | Venetia Limpopo | Credits and Funding | Wildlife of Africa |
Predators | Classic African Animals | Small Antelope | Large Antelope | Small Mammals


fox-AEZ60107.jpgBat-eared Fox
Preferring open semi-arid grassland and karoo scrub, these small dogs are often persecuted for the stock depredations of jackals.  Feeding on mainly invertebrates (termites in particular), they play an important ecologically valuable role.

AardvarkAardvark or Antbear
This rarely seen but widespread mammal is nocturnal and secretive, feeding almost exclusively on termites and ants. Enemies are lions, leopards, cheetah, hyena and other dogs.

Aardwolfs appear dog-like in appearance and growl and bark vigorously when confronted. Strong claws lend to the ability to dig burrows. The are found on the grassy plains throughout Namibia and South Africa. Although often accused of taking stock and therefore persecuted by man, they feed only on termites.

Chacmas Baboons are gregarious and roam in troops of up to 50 individuals, ruled by dominant males. Often seen on rocky hills and kranzes, they will also rest in tall trees. Being omnivorous, they will eat many types of fruits seeds, insects, scorpions, and even small antelope, domestic poultry and goats.

The Civet is omnivorous, eating everything from insects to fruit, fish, grass, and even small calves and domestic cats. They are nocturnal and prefer lots of surface water. Musk from the Civet once was important in the perfume trade.

GroundGround Squirrel
Endemic to the arid parts of Africa, these squirrels prefer a hard substrate where burrows may be made, frequently on the edges of dry pans. Colonies by have as may as 30 individuals with warrens of complicated tunnels with may openings. While they are mainly vegetarian, they are prey to mongooses, wild cats, jackals, raptors and snakes.

HoneyHoney Badger
Courageous, ferocious, tenacious, and treacherous describe this small mammal. They are found in many habitats, even ranging into urban areas and can be a problem to farmers with poultry and bees. Young antelope, rodents, birds, eggs, reptiles, fish, frogs insects, spiders and scorpions are preferred along with some fruity and tubers.

This unique rodent has long, hard, sharp, black and white quills that are erected at will. An aggressive Porcupine charges swiftly backwards with its detachable quills erected. Although mainly vegetarian, carrion may be taken.

DassieRock Dassie
This small cousin of the elephant is diurnal and found on rocky slopes or within ground dens in colonies. They breed prolifically, and as man has destroyed natural predators (large raptors, cats, jackal, snakes), the population has increased.

These burrowing animals are related to mongoose, and live in colonies of up to 30+ individuals in the open arid parts of Namibia, where there is a hard stony surface. Burrows are extensive with many entrances. Predators include the African Wild Cat, servals, jackals, badgers, and birds of prey. They eat insects and other invertebrates, bird's eggs, and

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