A Territorial Antelope: the Uganda Waterbuck by C. A. Spinage

By C. A. Spinage

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16). As a contrast, a low density area was studied known by the name of the "Royal Circuit Area". Its main topographical differences were that a part became waterlogged during the rains, and that there was an extensive cover oilmperata cylindrica. Buffalo were the most numerous occupants, numbering up to 600 head, and up to 100 hippopotamuses occupied the waterlogged area during the wet seasons. Waterbuck density averaged only ro/km 2 . fan Fig. 16. M a p of the Kayanja area, showing main topographical features.

It was not long before I was lucky if I could get close enough to dart a single animal in one day. This was partly due to some bad luck. Dr Roger Short, a veterinary colleague from Cambridge who initiated me into the art of darting, decided to use a new, powerful drug. This was called M99, a morphine derivative said to be 1000 times more powerful than morphine itself, and exceedingly lethal to handle. As M99 possessed all the properties of an analgesic we felt it preferable to use such a drug on animals which one wished subsequently to observe.

At a rough estimate, since a true estimate cannot be made without an accurate knowledge of the population structure of each species, biomass must be 40 The Uganda Waterbuck in excess of 12 290 kg/km 2 . This is probably similar to the adjacent Kivu National Park in Zaire, formerly the Albert National Park; although higher figures have been given. More detailed aerial counts were conducted during 1971 and 1972, and estimates for the smaller ungulate species gave figures (with their 95% confidence limits) of 12 000 ± 3545 kob, 4932 + 4599 topi, 1530 + 304 warthog, and 3563 + 1228 waterbuck.

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