During my PhD fieldwork on leopard in South Africa, I conducted counts of ungulates along road transects in order to assess seasonal leopard’s prey base, and model their distribution. I however ended up not analysing these data for my PhD; for various reasons. More data have been collected later as part of a nyala Tragelaphus angasii monitoring project in the reserve, including radio-tracking of 6 individuals. I recently advised a colleague on analysing the telemetry data he collected over 16 months, and on writing a research note on the effect of rainfall on nyala seasonal home range size.
I recently got in touch with colleagues working on the effect of roads on wildlife behavior and distribution in African protected areas. We decided to share this ungulate count dataset, and designed a road ecology project for a desktop-based MSc thesis I am now co-supervising with Manuela González-Suárez and Marcello d'Amico. The student investigates the effect of roads on ungulates' distribution, and the possible interspecific, temporal, seasonal, or behavioural differences. While providing a better understanding of ungulate ecology, the results will also serve as a baseline for ungulate management in the reserve. I feel very happy these data will not go to waste, while at the same time will serve towards someone’s degree!