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Large-scale distribution patterns of carnivores in northern South Africa: implications for conservation and monitoring


Thorn, M and Green, M and Keith, M and Marnewick, K and Bateman, PW and Cameron, EZ and Scott, DM, Large-scale distribution patterns of carnivores in northern South Africa: implications for conservation and monitoring, Oryx: Journal of Fauna and Flora International, 45, (4) pp. 579-586. ISSN 0030-6053 (2011) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2011 Fauna & Flora International

DOI: doi:10.1017/S0030605311000123


Accurate assessment of carnivore population status is frequently hindered by insufficient distribution data. For northern South Africa we address this deficit by mapping new records from landscape-scale sign surveys, questionnaire interviews, problem animal records and camera trapping. The black-backed jackal Canis mesomelas and caracal Caracal caracal remain common and wide- spread. Ranges of the serval Leptailurus serval and brown hyaena Hyaena brunnea were much larger than previous estimates, reducing the risk of simultaneous extirpation across all occupied locations. The proportion of range area occupied was larger for several species, notably the leopard Panthera pardus, cheetah Acinonyx jubatus and serval. We conclude that the serval continues to recover from historical threats and is expanding into new areas. A larger brown hyaena range and less fragmented pattern of occurrence probably confers greater resilience to threats than was suggested by previous data. Reduced extinction risk arising from the increased area occupied by the cheetah and leopard is tempered by probable local range contraction. Our maps provide baseline information for monitoring the distribution of these six species, which is essential in managing ecological issues that have a spatial component such as responses to changing land use. Our results also demonstrate the utility of detection/non- detection surveys in rapid assessment of carnivore populations at large spatial scales.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:black-backed jackal, brown hyaena, caracal, cheetah, distribution, leopard, serval, South Africa
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Zoology
Research Field:Animal developmental and reproductive biology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Other environmental management
Objective Field:Other environmental management not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Cameron, EZ (Professor Elissa Cameron)
ID Code:74546
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:17
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2011-12-07
Last Modified:2017-11-01
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

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