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Accueil du site → Master → Suède → Activity patterns and livestock depredation by cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus), leopards (Panthera pardus) and jackals (Canis mesomelas) within Ol Pejeta Conservancy : where, why and when ?

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (2017)

Activity patterns and livestock depredation by cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus), leopards (Panthera pardus) and jackals (Canis mesomelas) within Ol Pejeta Conservancy : where, why and when ?

Nylander, Nike

Titre : Activity patterns and livestock depredation by cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus), leopards (Panthera pardus) and jackals (Canis mesomelas) within Ol Pejeta Conservancy : where, why and when ?

Auteur : Nylander, Nike

Université de soutenance : Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Grade : Msc Biology 2017

Résumé
The widespread and severe conflict between humans and wildlife is one of the most critical threats for the survival of many wildlife species today. The increasing human population growth have along with habitat loss, fragmentation, prey depletion and persecution led to extensive declines in many large carnivores. Further are many carnivores considered as great threats to human interests and security and it is therefore urgent to identify suitable mitigation strategies taking both human interests and carnivore survival into account. This can be obtained by studying carnivore behaviour to gain valuable knowledge regarding activity and depredation patterns to better understand crucial periods when carnivore activity is higher. The main objective in this study was to examine general activity patterns in a fenced reserve by three carnivores of importance : cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus), leopards (Panthera pardus) and black-backed jackals (Canis mesomelas), due to their repeated involvement in human-wildlife conflicts. Potential relationships between three environmental variables (moon phase, temperature and rainfall) and activity patterns were also examined. Lastly was depredation by these predators mapped and interviews were performed with concerned herders. The study was conducted in the private reserve Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Laikipia district, Kenya. Activity and movement patterns were analyzed using camera traps at two out of three wildlife corridors placed along the northern boundary while depredation was mapped using available data on site. Interviews were performed in field during a fieldtrip in November 2016. The results revealed a low presence of both cheetahs and leopards as for why statistical analysis were only performed on the environmental variables in relation to jackal activity. Activity patterns revealed an overlap between cheetah and jackal activity but with an exclusively nocturnal activity in leopards. Moon phase and temperature were found not to have any effect on jackal activity but a significant negative relationship could be seen between jackal activity and rainfall. Increased activity during dry periods could potentially derive from competition or predator avoidance by black-backed jackals but presumably is activity patterns more regulated by prey availability and perhaps mate search. Results from depredation analysis indicated that depredation is unaffected by environmental factors and that attacks presumably occurs randomly in an opportunistic way, especially when prey availability is low. Despite low sample size did the results also reveal a high percentage of attacks occurring both in proximity to water, during night and in the Sirrima-area, referred to as predator free. My results therefore implies that the human-carnivore conflict can be mitigated at Ol Pejeta by being extra cautious when grazing cattle in the Sirrima area or other areas near water, especially at night during dry seasons when there is a high abundance of calves in the herds.

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Page publiée le 7 juin 2020