University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Due to the importance of top-trophic level predators have on their environment including regulating prey species and influencing ecosystem biodiversity, it is important to monitor top-trophic level predators to understand how they shape their ecosystem. While top-trophic level predators can benefit the ecosystem, they can also cause problems for surrounding human settlements like predation on livestock. Species in the Canidae and Hyaenidae families occupy the top-trophic level and can influence their ecosystem and cause human-wildlife conflict.
This study looked at the distribution, diversity, and den locations of Canidae and Hyaenidae species at Enashiva Nature Refuge over the course of 21 days. The goal was to understand whether occurrence and diversity had increased, decreased, or remained stable to give insight on how the Enashiva ecosystem had changed in relation to species in these families. Also, to look at the distribution of occurrence for species across habitat type to understand if there is habitat preference. Several methods of data collection were used including walking transects, opportunistic walking, opportunistic driving, and game cameras. Two-tailed t-tests and ANOVA tests were used to statistically analyze the results.
It was concluded that based on the results that there has not been a change in occurrence frequency of Canidae and Hyaenidae species at Enashiva when compared to previous studies. In addition, the diversity has also not changed. While there was some fluctuation in number of occurrences between studies they stayed relatively stable. Also, based on occurrence frequencies in habitat it was concluded that there is not a significant difference between occurrence frequencies between species and habitat. However, it does appear that the three-species recorded prefer the woodland for dens. Based on this study the diversity and occurrence of Canidae and Hyaenidae species has remained stable. Also, occurrences can be found in all habitats. It will be important to continue to monitor these species for diversity and potential human-wildlife conflict.
African Studies | Animal Studies | Biodiversity | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Zoology
Bullington, Grace, "Distribution, diversity, and den locations of Canidae and Hyaenidae species across habitat type at Enashiva Nature Refuge" (2017). Independent Study Project (ISP) Collection. 2612.