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Accueil du site → Master → Afrique du Sud → 2020 → The influence of anthropogenic and environmental covariates on the habitat use and density of sympatric carnivores, Limpopo Province, South Africa

Nelson Mandela University (2020)

The influence of anthropogenic and environmental covariates on the habitat use and density of sympatric carnivores, Limpopo Province, South Africa

Faure, J Philip B

Titre : The influence of anthropogenic and environmental covariates on the habitat use and density of sympatric carnivores, Limpopo Province, South Africa

Auteur : Faure, J Philip B

Université de soutenance : Nelson Mandela University

Grade : Magister Scientae 2020

Résumé partiel
Carnivores are declining and undergoing substantial range contractions which have largely been attributed to anthropogenic related. Globally, there has been an increase in establishing protected areas for species conservation. However, protected areas may not always effectively conserve all biodiversity, where some areas are too small for viable populations of wide-ranging species, such as leopards Panthera pardus, spotted hyaenas Crocuta crocuta, and brown hyaenas Parahyaena brunnea. The importance of privately-owned areas are gaining increasing recognition for their role in conserving species, and ecosystems. Though such areas may provide key opportunities for the conservation and persistence of biodiversity, little attention (with regards to species conservation planning) is given to these areas. Furthermore, large carnivore populations increasingly have to share the landscapes with humans as the global human population increase. Though anthropogenic impacts can be limited within protected areas, human activities on privately-owned farmlands are mostly dictated by economic activity to sustain human presence (often leading to humancarnivore conflicts). Platjan (South Africa) is one such area. It comprise a matrix of agricultural practices and land-use types, dominated by humans. Consequently, it presented an ideal landscape to investigate how humans and carnivores coexist. Spatial capture-recapture modelling suggest stable populations manifested through low densities for leopards, spotted hyaenas, brown hyaenas, and Africa civet Civettictis civetta within the study area. Densities of the focal species were more similar to what has been found in more arid environments. Though it should be noted, that population fluctuations are common in nature, and this study only provide a brief snapshot of the population. Nonetheless, it provides baseline carnivore density estimates for the area. Single-season, single-species occupancy modelling was used to determine the influence of anthropogenic variables on species probability of site use. Results suggested that leopards and spotted hyaenas avoided crop fields (possibly due to higher human activity in these areas)

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