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Eland - Domestication And Conservation

mammals africa encyclopedia guide

Rock paintings indicate a domestic relationship between eland and bushmen. In Natal, South Africa, eland have been domesticated for use as both dairy and draft animals, and for their tough hides. On their own and in low-density areas, they are endangered by agricultural development, which diminishes their range, and by hunting. Their meat is considered delicious and is prized as a source of protein. Ranched eland are susceptible to ticks. These antelope also died in large numbers during the rinderpest epidemic of 1896. Conservationists support planned domestication since it preserves species otherwise threatened by the encroaching land use of humans. The populations of eland today are much reduced. These formerly abundant antelope are now found mainly in reserves in South Africa and Botswana.

Resources

Books

Estes, Richard D. Behavior Guide to African Mammals. Berkeley: University of California, 1991.

Estes, Richard D. The Safari Companion. Post Mills, Vermont: Chelsea Green, 1993.

Grzimek, Bernhard. Encyclopedia of Mammals. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1990.

Haltenorth, T., and H. Diller. A Field Guide to the Mammals of Africa. London: Collins, 1992.

MacDonald, David, and Sasha Norris, eds. Encyclopedia of Mammals. New York: Facts on File, 2001.

Nowak, Ronald M. Walker's Encyclopedia of Mammals. 5th ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991.


Vita Richman

KEY TERMS

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Dewlap

—A loose fold of skin that hangs from the neck.

Foliage gleaner

—An animal that selects the most nutritious leaves for its diet.

Rinderpest

—A contagious, often fatal, viral disease of cattle, sheep and goats, characterized by fever and the appearance of ulcers on the mucous membranes of the intestines.

Ruminant

—A cud-chewing animal with a four-chambered stomach and even-toed hooves.

Tribe

—A classification of animals that groups similar species exhibiting common features.

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