Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 7
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Kittle, Andrew M. Bukombe, John K. Sinclair, Anthony R. E. Mduma, Simon A. R. and Fryxell, John M. 2016. Landscape-level movement patterns by lions in western Serengeti: comparing the influence of inter-specific competitors, habitat attributes and prey availability. Movement Ecology, Vol. 4, Issue. 1,

    Sirot, Etienne Renaud, Pierre-Cyril and Pays, Olivier 2016. How competition and predation shape patterns of waterhole use by herbivores in arid ecosystems. Animal Behaviour, Vol. 118, p. 19.

    Hjort, Jan Gordon, John E. Gray, Murray and Hunter, Malcolm L. 2015. Why geodiversity matters in valuing nature's stage. Conservation Biology, Vol. 29, Issue. 3, p. 630.

    Miguel, Eve Boulinier, Thierry de Garine-Wichatitsky, Michel Caron, Alexandre Fritz, Hervé and Grosbois, Vladimir 2014. Characterising African tick communities at a wild–domestic interface using repeated sampling protocols and models. Acta Tropica, Vol. 138, p. 5.

    Ogutu, Joseph O. Reid, Robin S. Piepho, Hans-Peter Hobbs, Nicholas T. Rainy, Michael E. Kruska, Russell L. Worden, Jeffrey S. and Nyabenge, Meshack 2014. Large herbivore responses to surface water and land use in an East African savanna: implications for conservation and human-wildlife conflicts. Biodiversity and Conservation, Vol. 23, Issue. 3, p. 573.

    Carpenter, Kenneth 2013. History, Sedimentology, and Taphonomy of the Carnegie Quarry, Dinosaur National Monument, Utah. Annals of Carnegie Museum, Vol. 81, Issue. 3, p. 153.

    Valeix, Marion Loveridge, Andrew J. and Macdonald, David W. 2012. Influence of prey dispersion on territory and group size of African lions: a test of the resource dispersion hypothesis. Ecology, Vol. 93, Issue. 11, p. 2490.


Temporal dynamics of dry-season water-hole use by large African herbivores in two years of contrasting rainfall in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

  • Marion Valeix (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 February 2011

As the dry season progresses in arid and semi-arid ecosystems, rain-fed surface water sources become depleted, forcing most animals to concentrate in the immediate vicinity of the few remaining permanent sources of drinking water. This study investigates the temporal dynamics of use of water-holes by nine African large-herbivore species in the dry season in the semi-arid savanna of Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, and particularly how annual rainfall influences this temporal dynamics. Two contrasting years in terms of annual rainfall were compared: 2003 (a drought – 362.6 mm) and 2004 (average rainfall – 695.8 mm). In 2003, water-holes were used far more intensively and the level of aggregation of herbivores at water-holes was significantly higher. The temporal dynamics of water-hole use in the dry season differed between the two years: in 2003, the peak of water-hole use started much earlier and lasted 3 mo. Elephants and grazers showed the largest difference in use of water-holes between 2003 and 2004 supporting the suggestion that browsers are less water dependent. This study suggests that annual rainfall should be taken into account when predicting the peak of the dry season.

Corresponding author
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

J. S. O. AYENI 1975. Utilization of waterholes in Tsavo National Park (East). East African Wildlife Journal 13:305323.

S. CHAMAILLÉ-JAMMES , M. VALEIX & H. FRITZ 2007a. Managing heterogeneity in elephant distribution: interaction between elephant population density and surface-water availability. Journal of Applied Ecology 44:625633.

S. CHAMAILLÉ-JAMMES , H. FRITZ & F. MURINDAGOMO 2007b. Climate-driven fluctuations in surface-water availability and the buffering role of artificial pumping in an African savanna: potential implications for herbivore dynamics. Austral Ecology 32:740748.

S. CHAMAILLÉ-JAMMES , H. FRITZ , M. VALEIX , F. MURINDAGOMO & J. CLOBERT 2008. Resource variability, aggregation and direct density dependence in an open context: the local regulation of an African elephant population. Journal of Animal Ecology 77:135144.

S. CHAMAILLÉ-JAMMES , H. FRITZ & H. MADZIKANDA 2009. Piosphere contribution to landscape heterogeneity: a case study of remote-sensed woody cover in a high elephant density landscape. Ecography 32:871880.

M. J. COE , D. H. M. CUMMING & J. PHILLIPSON 1976. Biomass and production of large herbivores in relation to rainfall and primary production. Oecologia 22:341354.

J. P. DUDLEY , G. C. CRAIG , D. C. GIBSON , G. HAYNES & J. KLIMOWICZ 2001. Drought mortality of bush elephants in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. African Journal of Ecology 39:187194.

K. M. DUNHAM 1994. The effect of drought on the large mammal populations of Zambezi riverine woodlands. Journal of Zoology 234:489526.

C. GORTÁZAR , P. AVECEDO , F. RUIZ-FONS & J. VICENTE 2006. Disease risks and overabundance of game species. European Journal of Wildlife Research 52:8187.

R. R. NEMANI , C. D. KEELING , H. HASHIMOTO , W. M. JOLLY , S. C. PIPER , J. T. COMPTON , R. B. MYNENI & S. W. RUNNING 2003. Climate-driven increases in global terrestrial net primary production from 1982 to 1999. Science 300:15601563.

N. OWEN-SMITH 1990. Demography of a large herbivore, the greater kudu Tragelaphus strepsiceros, in relation to rainfall. Journal of Animal Ecology 59:893913.

J. V. REDFERN , R. GRANT , H. BIGGS & W. M. GETZ 2003. Surface-water constraints on herbivore foraging in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. Ecology 84:20922107.

J. V. REDFERN , C. C. GRANT , A. GAYLARD & W. M. GETZ 2005. Surface water availability and the management of herbivore distributions in an African ecosystem. Journal of Arid Environments 63:406424.

J. V. REDFERN , S. J. RYAN & W. M. GETZ 2006. Defining herbivore assemblages in the Kruger National Park: a correlative coherence approach. Oecologia 146:632640.

R. C. RITTER & P. A. BEDNEKOFF 1995. Dry season water, female movements and male territoriality in springbok: preliminary evidence of waterhole-directed sexual selection. African Journal of Ecology 33:395404.

I. P. J. SMIT , C. G. GRANT & B. J. DEVEREUX 2007. Do artificial waterholes influence the way herbivores use the landscape? Herbivore distribution patterns around rivers and artificial surface water sources in a large African savanna park. Biological Conservation 136:8599.

I. THRASH & J. F. DERRY 1999. The nature and modelling of piospheres: a review. Koedoe 42:7394.

I. THRASH , G. K. THERON & J. P. BOTHMA 1995. Dry season herbivore densities around drinking troughs in the Kruger National Park. Journal of Arid Environments 29:213219.

M. VALEIX , S. CHAMAILLÉ-JAMMES & H. FRITZ 2007. Interference competition and temporal niche shifts: elephants and herbivore communities at waterholes. Oecologia 153:739748.

M. VALEIX , H. FRITZ , A. J. LOVERIDGE , Z. DAVIDSON , J. E. HUNT , F. MURINDAGOMO & D. W. MACDONALD 2009a. Does the risk of encountering lions influence African herbivore behaviour at waterholes? Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 63:14831494.

M. VALEIX , A. J. LOVERIDGE , S. CHAMAILLÉ-JAMMES , Z. DAVIDSON , F. MURINDAGOMO , H. FRITZ & D. W. MACDONALD 2009b. Behavioral adjustments of African herbivores to predation risk by lions: spatiotemporal variations influence habitat use. Ecology 90:2330.

M. VALEIX , A. J. LOVERIDGE , Z. DAVIDSON , H. MADZIKANDA , H. FRITZ & D. W. MACDONALD 2010. How key habitat features influence large terrestrial carnivore movements: waterholes and African lions in a semi-arid savanna of north-western Zimbabwe. Landscape Ecology 25:337351.

D. WEIR & E. DAVISON 1965. Daily occurrence of African game animals at waterholes during dry weather. Zoologica Africana 1:353368.

D. WESTERN 1975. Water availability and its influence on the structure and dynamics of a savannah large mammal community. East African Wildlife Journal 13:265286.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Tropical Ecology
  • ISSN: 0266-4674
  • EISSN: 1469-7831
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-tropical-ecology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *