South African Wild Life
Wild Life South African Project
South Africa has a large variety of wildlife, including snakes, birds, plains animals, and predators. The country has 299 species of mammals and 858 species of birds.
The Cape Buffalo, also known as the African cook, is a powerful animal that has few natural enemies. Their power and size means that they are very much able to defend themselves. They have been known to kill lions, hyena, humans, and other wild predators. Because of this they have taken their place in the African big five, elephants, lions, Cape Buffalo, rhinoceroses, and leopards. The big five are known to be some of the most dangerous and aggressive animals in Africa. Another African name for the Cape Buffalo is Black Death, because of their colour and their aggressive behavior.
The Kudu are split into two different groups, Greater Kudu and Lesser Kudu. The Greater Kudu are regularly found in South Africa. Like the Gemsbok, Kudu are African antelope. They are fast and stealthy. They are a brown-grey color with white stripes that go down the center of their body. For those two facts their African name is Grey Ghost. The males have tall spiraling horns, females regularly have no horns. Kudu are peaceful and are normally not dangerous.
The African Oryx Gazella also known as Gemsbuck or Gemsbok are African plains animals that travel in groups of 10-45. The Gemsbuck's groups are set up with a dominant male and in most cases a few dominant females. Male's horns are straight and pointed at the tip. Because of this they have been known to impale attacking lions. Females horns can be the same but sometimes they are curved backward. *There are two different varieties of Gemsbok, the southern and the northern. The southern variety have longer horns and the northern have black fringed ears. The Northern Gemsbok are rarely seen in South Africa.
The Cape cobra (Naja nivea), also called the yellow cobra is a moderately sized, highly venomous cobra inhabiting a wide variety of biomes across southern Africa including arid savanna, fynbos, bushveld, desert and semi-desert regions. The species is diurnal and is a feeding generalist, preying on a number of different species and carrion. Predators of this species include birds of prey and different species of mongoose. The Cape cobra is also known as the "geelslang" (yellow snake) and "bruinkapel" (brown cobra) in South Africa.
An endangered species is a population of organisms which is at risk of becoming extinct because it is either few in numbers, or threatened by changing environmental or predation parameters. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has calculated the percentage of endangered species.
IUCN categories, and some animals in those categories, include:
Extinct: Examples: Thylacine, Dinosaurs, Pterosaurs, Javan Tiger, Dodo, Passenger Pigeon, Caribbean Monk Seal, Steller's Sea Cow, Aurochs, Elephant Bird, Moa, Haast's Eagle, Woolly Mammoth, Woolly Rhinoceros, Dusky Seaside Sparrow, Golden Toad, Toolache Wallaby, Western Black Rhinoceros, Zanzibar leopard
Extinct in the wild: captive individuals survive, but there is no free-living, natural population. Examples: Hawaiian Crow, Wyoming Toad, Spix's Macaw (maybe critically endangered), Socorro Dove, Scimitar Oryx, Catarina Pupfish, Barbary Lion (maybe extinct)
Critically endangered: faces an extremely high risk of extinction in the immediate future. Examples: Mountain Gorilla, Bactrian Camel, Ethiopian Wolf, Saiga, Takhi, Iberian Lynx, Kakapo, Arakan Forest Turtle, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Javan Rhino, Brazilian Merganser, Axolotl, Leatherback Sea Turtle, Northern White Rhinoceros (maybe extinct in the wild), Gharial, Vaquita, Philippine Eagle, Brown Spider Monkey, California Condor, Island Fox, Chinese Alligator, Sumatran Orangutan, Asiatic Cheetah, African Wild Ass, Hawaiian Monk Seal, Mediterranean Monk Seal, Red Wolf, Amur Leopard, Spix's Macaw (maybe extinct in the wild), Siamese Crocodile
Endangered: faces a very high risk of extinction in the near future. Examples: Dhole, Blue Whale, Asian Elephant, Giant Panda, Snow Leopard, African Wild Dog, Green Sea Turtle, Malayan Tapir, Tiger, Steller's Sea Lion, Asiatic Lion, Markhor, Bornean Orangutan, Grevy's Zebra, Tasmanian Devil, Japanese Crane, Gorillas, Bonobo, Wild Water Buffalo, African Penguin, Goliath Frog, Lear's Macaw, Rothschild Giraffe, Giant Otter, Pygmy Hippopotamus, Hyacinth Macaw, Volcano Rabbit, Proboscis Monkey, Persian Leopard
Vulnerable: faces a high risk of extinction in the medium-term. Examples: African Elephant, Cheetah, Gaur, Lion, Sloth Bear, Dugong, Polar Bear, Indian Rhinoceros, Komodo Dragon, Great White Shark, Hippopotamus, Mandrill, Fossa, Crowned Crane, Clouded Leopard, Far Eastern Curlew, Galapagos Tortoise, Mountain Zebra, Humboldt Penguin, Golden Hamster, Maned Sloth, Red Panda
Least concern: no immediate threat to the survival of the species. Examples: Common Wood Pigeon, Rock Pigeon, Giraffe, California Sea Lion, Brown Bear, Grey Wolf, House Mouse, Scarlet Macaw, Platypus, Bald Eagle, Brown Rat, Cane Toad, Humpback Whale, Emperor Penguin, American Crow , Human Mute Swan, Mallard, Red-tailed Hawk, Indian Peafowl, American Alligator, Southern Elephant Seal, Meerkat, Cougar, Brown-throated sloth, Eurasian Lynx.
The phrase Big Five game was coined by white hunters and refers to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot. The term is still used in most tourist and wildlife guides that discuss African wildlife safaris. The collection consists of the lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros.The members of the Big Five were chosen for the difficulty in hunting them and the degree of danger involved, rather than their size
Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. It covers 19,485 square kilometres (7,523 sq mi) and extends 360 kilometres (220 mi) from north to south and 65 kilometres (40 mi) from east to west.
To the west and south of the Kruger National Park are the two South African provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga. In the north is Zimbabwe, and to the east is Mozambique. It is now part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, a peace park that links Kruger National Park with the Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe, and with the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique.
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