[italic]By David Hood[/italic]
The tracks of buffalo and eland can cause unexpected confusion – and not without reason. There is a significant overlap in the size and shape of the prints left by these two magnificent bovids.
Historically the distribution ranges of the ungulates in question overlapped far more markedly than they do today. There is still a certain amount of natural range overlap in Southern Africa, specifically in northern Botswana, the South African lowveld and areas of Zimbabwe. In addition, large numbers of both species have been translocated to new reserves, particularly in areas such as the Eastern Cape, and now co-exist in places where they would have roamed together two centuries ago.
The tracks of both species are broadly oval to round and quite large. This may seem an obvious statement, but it is important to consider why they are that shape. In nature, there are numerous trends and an awareness of such patterns helps to further our understanding of the natural world.