Wildlife Research Wildlife Research Society
Ecology, management and conservation in natural and modified habitats

Ground Surface Features Attributable to Feral Buffalo, Bubalus bubalis I. Their Distribution relative to Vegetation Structure and Plant Lifeform

JA Taylor and GR Friend

Australian Wildlife Research 11(2) 303 - 309
Published: 1984


Relationships among ground surface features attributable to feral buffalo (viz. wallows, trails, pug marks and dung pats), vegetation structure, and lifeform spectrum were examined in both dry and wet seasons in a tropical monsoonal area of northern Australia. In the dry season, the frequency of pug marks was negatively correlated with the number of trails and dung pats, and positively correlated with the number of wallows. In the wet season only dung pats and wallows were significantly correlated. In the dry season, wallows were not associated with any vegetation structure or lifeform attribute, but in the wet season they were associated with dense foliage <1 m high. Trails occurred in areas of low dense vegetation (<0.5 m) in the dry season, but in the wet were uncommon and positively associated with lianas. Pug marks occurred mainly in the lower-elevation, treeless areas dominated by forbs. Whereas the nature and strength of the relationships of pug marks to plant lifeform or vegetation structure remained constant from season to season, those involving dung pats changed seasonally. In the dry season, dung pats were associated with the higher-elevation areas where trees, lianas, dense mid-level foliage (1.5-2.5 m) and leaf-litter were common. In the wet, they were associated with low vegetation (<1 m) dominated by forbs, and were negatively correlated with the factors important in the dry.


© CSIRO 1984

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