Informations et ressources scientifiques
sur le développement des zones arides et semi-arides

Accueil du site → Master → Afrique du Sud → 2022 → Assessing the density and distribution of spotted hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta) in Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Rhodes University (2022)

Assessing the density and distribution of spotted hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta) in Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Roberts, Peter Jean

Titre : Assessing the density and distribution of spotted hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta) in Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Auteur : Roberts, Peter Jean

Université de soutenance : Rhodes University

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2022

Résumé
Protected areas are becoming increasingly isolated refugia for large carnivores and are critical for their survival. Spotted hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta) have, for centuries, been ‘managed’ as problem causing animals and their conservation has been largely overlooked. To preserve a population, it is paramount to understand its distribution and abundance through reliable and cost-effective monitoring techniques. My study estimated the density of spotted hyaenas and their use of space in Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park (HiP), South Africa. I compared camera trap by-catch data and call-up surveys between 2013–2018 to assess spotted hyaena densities. The camera trap data estimated an average of 16.72 (SD : ±2.22) hyaenas per 100 km2 between 2013–2018, with an annual estimated high of 19.01 in 2018 and a low of 12.77 in 2015. The call-up surveys consistently produced lower estimates than those obtained from the camera trap data. These results highlight the importance of calibrating the response probability factor for call-up surveys to maintain precision. The space use of spotted hyaenas was analysed using the photo-capture data obtained during the same six-year period, to produce individual 100% Minimum Convex Polygon’s (MCPs). Seven clan territories were identified from individual female home ranges that overlapped by more than 66% of their MCPs. Territory sizes were similar to historical estimates for the park, with averages of 13.96 (SD : ±6.48) km2 in Hluhluwe and 34.61 (SD : ±23.87) km2 in iMfolozi. My study successfully used by-catch camera data to calculate annual density estimates and investigate the spatial use patterns for spotted hyaenas in HiP. I demonstrate that this approach is cost-effective and reliable for calculating density estimates. Conservation practitioners should take heed of the advancements in technology and analytical capacity now available to them to improve monitoring efforts. My study specifically calls for collaborative efforts to use existing camera trap data to improve regional estimates and population trends of spotted hyaenas across their range.

Présentation (SEALS)

Version intégrale )

Page publiée le 13 janvier 2023