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Large carnivore distribution in relationship to environmental and anthropogenic factors in a multiple‐use landscape of Northern Tanzania

Mkonyi, FJ; Estes, AB; Lichtenfeld, LL; Durant, SM; (2018) Large carnivore distribution in relationship to environmental and anthropogenic factors in a multiple‐use landscape of Northern Tanzania. African Journal of Ecology 10.1111/aje.12528. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Effective management of threatened wildlife, particularly large carnivores, depends on a sound understanding of their spatial distribution and status in relationship to environmental or anthropogenic impacts. Here we analyse data from spoor surveys to investigate occurrence across a multiple-use landscape in the Tarangire-Simanjiro ecosystem in northern Tanzania for four taxa of African large carnivores: lions (Panthera leo), hyaenas (spotted hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta) and striped hyaenas (Hyaena hyaena) combined), cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) and leopards (P. pardus). We analysed our data using occupancy modeling, explicitly accounting for detectability, to identify associations with environmental and anthropogenic variables. Overall occurrence was estimated at 0.85 (SE = 0.06) for hyaena, 0.82 (SE = 0.15) for cheetah, 0.55 (SE = 0.10) for lion and 0.61 (SE = 0.21) for leopard. Lion occurrence was negatively associated with distance to park boundary. Hyaena occurrence was positively associated with human population density and negatively associated with bushland, while cheetah and leopard occurrences were positively associated with grassland. These results suggest that lions may be more vulnerable to human impacts than other species, while hyaenas may benefit from vicinity to humans. Our study demonstrates the value of spoor-based occupancy surveys for understanding distribution and habitat-use of secretive large carnivores.

Type: Article
Title: Large carnivore distribution in relationship to environmental and anthropogenic factors in a multiple‐use landscape of Northern Tanzania
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/aje.12528
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/aje.12528
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: African large carnivores, human-wildlife coexistence, multiple-use landscape, occupancy modeling, spatial distribution, spoor surveys
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
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/10050675
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