Research News

  • White rhinos communicate through their ablution habits

    Posted on July 19, 2018

    A study by a University of Pretoria researcher into the ablution habits of white rhinos in the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal, has revealed that these animals use their place of defecation to communicate with each other and take decisions that can affect their ecology.

  • How adapting to different climates has helped a pest spread across the globe

    Posted on July 08, 2018

    The Mediterranean fruit fly can evolve rapidly to different environmental conditions, this suggests it will be well suited to cope with climate change.

  • Woody plants are changing Africa’s savannas — and this may have an impact on all of us

    Posted on May 09, 2018

    An increase in indigenous plant life does not sound like a bad thing, but when woody plants threaten to change savanna ecosystems (that cover approximately 13.5 million square kilometres of Africa alone), there is cause for concern.

  • The Great Karoo – a refuge for the trapdoor spider

    Posted on March 06, 2018

    The Karoo stretches 400 000 square kilometres over the provinces of the Eastern, Northern and Western Cape. Its vast, open semi-desert landscapes offer a sense of escapism and nothingness, guaranteeing peace and tranquillity for anyone who visits.

  • Hot birds in the hot seat

    Posted on February 22, 2018

    Prof Andrew McKechnie of the Department of Zoology and Entomology was recently awarded the South African Research Chair in Conservation Physiology. The Chair is hosted by the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa and co-hosted by the University of Pretoria (UP).

  • Mammals move less in human-modified landscapes

    Posted on February 02, 2018

    Mammals move shorter distance in human-modified landscapes, which may affect ecosystems and society.

  • Forests are living on the edge – and this is not a good thing

    Posted on November 21, 2017

    The University of Pretoria's Dr Pieter Olivier is part of an international collaboration whose work was recently published in Nature. The study highlights how biodiversity is changing as a result of deforestation.

  • Unravelling the mysteries of meerkat behaviour

    Posted on November 08, 2017

    Researchers at the University of Pretoria form part of the Kalahari Meerkat Project in the Northern Cape's Kuruman River Reserve, which has studied groups of wild meerkats for over 20 years.

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