Original Research

Activity patterns and feeding behaviour of hyrax (Procavia capensis) in the Mountain Zebra National Park

L. J. Fourie, I. G. Horak, M. R. Perrin
Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie | Vol 6, No 3 | a955 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/satnt.v6i3.955 | © 1987 L. J. Fourie, I. G. Horak, M. R. Perrin | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 March 1987 | Published: 17 March 1987

About the author(s)

L. J. Fourie,, South Africa
I. G. Horak,, South Africa
M. R. Perrin,, South Africa

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Abstract

The activity patterns of marked hyrax in the Mountain Zebra National Park were quantified by direct observations. Extended periods are spent on basking during winter (6,8 h) and summer (5,3 h) respectively. At least 80 % of each day is spent in an inactive phase. The more extended time spent on movement and time spent within refuges during summer (0,4 and 2,7 h), compared to winter (0,2 and 0,9 h), can possibly be interpreted in terms of behavioural thermoregulation. Distinct differences between the feeding behaviour of juveniles (< 6 months) and older hyrax were observed. Foraging of juveniles was limited to a distance of 40 m or less from refuges and took place under the surveilance of adults. Foraging of older hyrax frequently occurred for extended distances (up to 500 m) from refuges. These hyrax frequently visited riparian thickets. Foraging excursions of individual hyrax lasted for 0,5 - 8 h. The reported early and late afternoon group feeding sessions for hyrax older than 5 months could not be confirmed.

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