Observation on Waterhole use by wild game in Tsavo National Park
The pattern of waterhoLe utilization was established for the 24-hours of the day and for the dry and rainy seasons. The utilization of artificial waterholes was dominated by the small ungulates during the daylight hours and by the larger ungulates during the night. vlhen air temperature was high game visits were low. During the hours of darkness the average number of gamevisits per hour of observation was lower than during daylight hours. During the dry season 'I'lildlife visits vlere more frequent at the waterholes than during the rainy season. The distribution of vrildlife in relation to the ~rtificial waterholes was determined. During the dry season wildlife species aggregated around the waterholes which still contained drinking vmter. The intensity of utilization of the artificial water- holes was highest during the dry season and Lowets during the rains whenwildlife dispersed away from the dry season water supplies drinking from the llDtural vraterholes, formed in the zoogeneous clay pans. The chemical composition of water samples from several natural and artificial llaterholes was determined; it was found to fluctuate throughout the year, ,dth 10"1v'1alues during the rains and high values during the dry season. At the peak of the dry season the composition of the water samples from the boreholes was very high in several minerals. (ii) The management implications of the study ..las discussed. It was noted that the patterns of uta Li.zat i oa of artificial waterholes had resulted in the removal of woodyvegetation from around the waterhoLea and this effect was most profound around Aruba dam, the largest and oldest artificial waterhole in the park. It was suggested that more studies should be undertaken to determine the effects of the high mineral contents of the water from the boreholes on the animals. It 1-1aSrecommendedthat further development of artificial waterholes in the soil types consisting primarily of montmorillonite clays should be discontinued.