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Rice University

Publication Date

Spring 2017

Program Name

Tanzania: Wildlife Conservation and Political Ecology

Abstract

As felid populations worldwide continue to deteriorate due to human activities, understanding how felid species utilize various landscapes, along with what factors affect such use or disuse, becomes essential to the preservation of these species. While previous research has examined felid populations around the world, many species and locations remain understudied. This study surveyed felid species at Enashiva Nature Refuge (ENR) in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem to determine (1) what felid species are present at ENR, (2) where these species generally occur, and (3) why felids reside at ENR in low or high numbers. Through the use of opportunistic camera trapping, path sign surveys, and direct searches, the general abundance and habitat usage of felid species was investigated, along with the presence of felid prey and potential competitor species. Five species of felids were documented at ENR to varying degrees of frequency, with the caracal (Caracal caracal) proving absent. Many prey and competitor species were also recorded, including high numbers of spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta). Additionally, staff reports and literature comparisons indicated four main elements impacting ENR felid populations. Overall, understanding felid utilization of ENR may help expand knowledge of resident felid populations and inform local conservation efforts, which may assist in facilitating sustainable compromises between human and wildlife needs.

Disciplines

Animal Sciences | Biodiversity | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Other Animal Sciences | Population Biology | Zoology

 

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