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Estimating brown hyaena occupancy using baited camera traps


Thorn, M and Scott, DM and Green, M and Bateman, PW and Cameron, EZ, Estimating brown hyaena occupancy using baited camera traps, South African Journal of Wildlife Research, 39, (1) pp. 1-10. ISSN 0379-4369 (2009) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright © 2009 Southern African Wildlife Management Association (SAWMA)

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DOI: doi:10.3957/056.039.0101


Conservation and management of brown hyaenas (Hyaena brunnea) is hampered by a lack of information on abundance and distribution, which is difficult and labour-intensive to obtain. However, occupancy surveys offer a potentially efficient and robust means of assessing brown hyaena populations. We evaluate the efficacy of camera trapping for estimating brown hyaena occupancy, and the effect of environmental variables and lures on detection probability. We estimated population density in Pilanesberg National Park, South Africa, at 2.8/100 km2, occupancy at 1.0 and model-averaged detection probability at 0.1. Using a fish lure increased detection probability to 0.2 and significantly increased encounter rates. We also found that brown hyaenas are more likely to be detected in areas of scrub or woodland rather than grassland. Our results suggest that 13 camera sites would be needed to achieve an occupancy estimate with S.E. of 0.05, and a minimum of 16–34 sampling occasions (with and without the fish lure) should be used in comparable study areas. We conclude that camera trapping is a viable method of estimating brown hyaena occupancy at local and landscape scales and capture—recapture analysis is also possible at a local scale.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Africa, camera, carnivore, detection probability, hyaena, lure, occupancy
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Terrestrial ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Terrestrial biodiversity
UTAS Author:Cameron, EZ (Professor Elissa Cameron)
ID Code:67496
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:63
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2011-03-04
Last Modified:2014-11-24
Downloads:7 View Download Statistics

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