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Leopard Panthera pardus density in southern Mozambique: evidence from spatially explicit capture–recapture in Xonghile Game Reserve

Strampelli, P; Andresen, L; Everatt, KT; Somers, M; Rowcliffe, M; (2018) Leopard Panthera pardus density in southern Mozambique: evidence from spatially explicit capture–recapture in Xonghile Game Reserve. Oryx 10.1017/S0030605318000121. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Rigorous status estimates of populations of large carnivores are necessary to inform their management and help evaluate the effectiveness of conservation interventions. The African leopard Panthera pardus faces rising anthropogenic pressures across most of its contracting sub-Saharan range, but the scarcity of reliable population estimates means that management decisions often have to rely on expert opinion rather than being based on sound evidence. This is particularly true for Mozambique, where little is known about the ecology or conservation status of leopard populations as a result of prolonged armed conflict. We used camera trapping and spatially explicit capture–recapture models to provide a leopard density estimate in Xonghile Game Reserve in southern Mozambique, which is part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier conservation initiative. The estimated population density was 2.60 ± SE 0.96 leopards/100 km2. Our study provides a baseline leopard density for the region and the first empirical density estimate for southern Mozambique. Our results also suggest that current methods used to set trophy hunting quotas for leopards, both in Mozambique and elsewhere in Africa, may be leading to unsustainable quotas, which highlights the importance of robust empirical data in guiding conservation policy.

Type: Article
Title: Leopard Panthera pardus density in southern Mozambique: evidence from spatially explicit capture–recapture in Xonghile Game Reserve
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S0030605318000121
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0030605318000121
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Camera trap, density estimation, leopard, Mozambique, Panthera pardus, SECR, spatially explicit capture–recapture, trophy hunting
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10042833
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