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By C. A. Spinage

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Sample text

Topi are restricted to the southern sector of the Park, south of the Maramagambo Forest; reedbuck are localized in distribution, and kob occur only in numbers in open grassland where there is little thicket. Both elephant and buffalo are widely distributed, although dispersion is seasonal, the majority remaining in the forest during the dry seasons. 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 .

In 1931 the Worthingtons reported seeing a pack of 20 chase a kob across the Mweya Peninsula (Worthington and Worthington, 1933). There is a variety of smaller carnivores, but none is numerous; although high densities of rodents exist in the long-grass areas of the Crater Highlands. The Park is renowned for its profusion of bird life, particularly aquatic species. Cormorants and pelicans are plentiful along the Kazinga Channel, the rare shoe-bill stork hides in the papyrus swamps, and the cry of the fish eagle from its lofty perch atop a euphorbia tree is one of the unforgettable sounds of Africa.

Fire was generally prevented on the Peninsula, but it must be noted that this was the grassland composition at the time of the study. Considerable changes can take place here in the grassland composition, related to the hippopotamus control experiments, for the numbers of hippopotamuses are sufficient to modify the grassland composition in certain areas, as we shall see later. 7,6 The Uganda Waterbuck The grasslands to the north of the Park are characterized by the Euphorbia candelabra trees, which dot the landscape, and whose place is taken in the southern extremity of the Park by the gnarled, large wild fig trees Ficus gnaphalacarpa, whose branches form a favourite resting place for lions.

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