Amy Dickman

Amy Dickman
University of Oxford | OX · Department of Zoology

About

144
Publications
89,206
Reads
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6,762
Citations
Citations since 2016
93 Research Items
5469 Citations
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201620172018201920202021202202004006008001,000
201620172018201920202021202202004006008001,000

Publications

Publications (144)
Article
African large carnivores have undergone significant range and population declines over recent decades. Although conservation planning and the management of threatened species requires accurate assessments of population status and monitoring of trends, there is evidence that biodiversity monitoring may not be evenly distributed or occurring where mo...
Article
Elephants face diverse threats from human activities and use temporal and social strategies to reduce human‐induced mortality risk. We used data from camera trap surveys in 2018–2019 (n = 1625 independent detection events from 11,751 sampling days) to investigate elephant responses to anthropogenic risk in the Ruaha‐Rungwa ecosystem, Tanzania. The...
Article
Full-text available
Sub-Saharan Africa's (SSA's) iconic biodiversity is of immense potential global value but is jeopardized by increasing anthropogenic pressures. Elevated consumption in wealthier countries and the demands of international corporations manifest in significant resource extraction from SSA. Biodiversity in SSA also faces increasing domestic pressures,...
Article
Providing sufficient benefits to local people can be an important component of effective and equitable conservation, especially where local communities face substantial opportunity costs or disbenefits from conservation. However, the distribution of benefits to local people is often inadequate or inequitable. In this study we investigated the heter...
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Full-text available
Abstract Although social media is growing rapidly as a news source, including for disseminating conservation information, studies comparing attention given to differing threats to species on social media are almost non‐existent. As the amount of attention given to differing threats can influence what people perceive to be important and impact the f...
Article
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Reconciling conflicts between wildlife conservation and other human activities is a pervasive, multifaceted issue. Large carnivores, such as the African lion Panthera leo are often the focus of such conflicts as they have significant ecological and cultural value but impose severe social and financial costs on the communities that live alongside th...
Article
The presence of large predators entails a range of costs and some benefits for the communities that live alongside them. The cost in terms of the value of livestock lost to predation is well known, but this represents only a part of the costs that people experience, as it does not account for non-market costs such as fear, avoidance behaviours and...
Article
As landscape‐scale conservation models grow in prominence, assessments of how wildlife utilise multiple‐use landscapes are required to inform effective conservation and management planning. Such efforts should incorporate multi‐species perspectives to maximise value for conservation, and should account for scale to accurately capture species‐enviro...
Article
Large carnivores increasingly inhabit human-impacted landscapes, which exhibit heterogeneity in biotic resources, anthropogenic pressures, and management strategies. Understanding large carnivore habitat use in these modern systems is critical for their conservation, as is the evaluation of competing management approaches and the impacts of signifi...
Article
In a study of more than 3,000 participants from nine countries, we explored peoples’ preferences for the conservation of two groups of species that frequently interact with humans: large carnivores (n=29 species in the order Carnivora with average adult body mass > 15 kg), and wild canids and wild felids (n=73 species). We presented participants wi...
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1. Accurate and precise estimates of population status are required to inform and evaluate conservation management and policy interventions. Although the lion (Panthera leo) is a charismatic species receiving increased conservation attention, robust status estimates are lacking for most populations. While for many large carnivores population densit...
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It is time to acknowledge and overcome conservation's deep-seated systemic racism, which has historically marginalized Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) communities and continues to do so. We describe how the mutually reinforcing ‘twin spheres’ of conservation science and conservation practice perpetuate this systemic racism. We trace...
Article
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Africa is home to some of the world’s most functionally diverse guilds of large carnivores. However, they are increasingly under threat from anthropogenic pressures that may exacerbate already intense intra-guild competition. Understanding the coexistence mechanisms employed by these species in human-impacted landscapes could help shed light on som...
Article
Rates at which predators encounter, hunt and kill prey are influenced by, among other things, the intrinsic condition of prey. Diseases can considerably compromise body condition, potentially weakening ability of afflicted prey to avoid predation. Understanding predator–prey dynamics is particularly important when both species are threatened, as is...
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en African rangelands support substantial wildlife populations alongside pastoralists and livestock. Recent wildlife declines are often attributed to competition with livestock over water and grazing, in part because livestock are thought to spatially displace wildlife. However, more evidence is needed to understand this interaction and inform rang...
Article
With large carnivores undergoing widespread range contractions across Africa, effective monitoring across mixed-use landscapes should be considered a priority to identify at-risk populations and prioritise conservation actions. We provide the first comparison of leopard population density within different components of a mixed-use landscape in Tanz...
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Compared to emblematic large carnivores, most species of the order Carnivora receive little conservation attention despite increasing anthropogenic pressure and poor understanding of their status across much of their range. We employed systematic camera trapping and spatially explicit capture-recapture modelling to estimate variation in population...
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Natural history documentaries are a globally important source of information about wildlife, conservation and environmental issues, and they are the closest many will get to seeing featured animals and their behaviour in the wild. They are entertainment, certainly, but may also inform people's knowledge of the natural world and influence their idea...
Article
Africa's Protected Area (PA) estate includes some of the world's most iconic wildlife and wildlands and preserves ecosystem services upon which people depend. However, Africa's PAs are facing a growing array of threats resulting in significant degradation, factors compounded by chronic funding shortages. In this opinion piece, drawing from the avai...
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en Research on the African cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) exhibits strong geographical biases, with most studies taking place within a few, well‐studied populations. Here, we provide the first insights into the status and distribution of a globally important cheetah population in the 50,000 km² Ruaha‐Rungwa landscape in southern Tanzania. We employed d...
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Apex predators play a critical role in maintaining the health of ecosystems but are highly susceptible to habitat degradation and loss caused by land-use changes, and to anthropogenic mortality. The leopard Panthera pardus is the last free-roaming large carnivore in the Western Cape province, South Africa. During 2011–2015, we carried out a camera-...
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Negative interactions with humans resulting from livestock predation is a major factor influencing the decline of African lion Panthera leo populations across Africa. Here we investigate lion depredation within two Maasai communities in southern Kenya where people and lions coexist in the absence of any formal protected areas. We explore the factor...
Article
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Conflict with humans is one of the major threats facing the world's remaining large carnivore populations, and understanding human attitudes is key to improving coexistence. We use a socio‐ecological model to understand local attitudes towards coexisting with lions. We investigate the importance of a range of tangible and intangible factors on atti...
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We use comparable 2005 and 2018 population data to assess threats driving the decline of lion Panthera leo populations, and review information on threats structured by problem tree and root cause analysis. We define 11 threats and rank their severity and prevalence. Two threats emerged as affecting both the number of lion populations and numbers wi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Pre-print currently under peer-review. Available on bioRxiv: https://biorxiv.org/cgi/content/short/2020.11.02.364638v1
Article
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Trade-driven killing for body parts has long been a major cause of population decline for a number of big cat species. There are now worrying suggestions that commercialised illegal trade in body parts might become a threat for wild lions in Africa, and recent concerns have been raised that trade in captive-bred lion skeletons from South Africa may...
Article
Article Impact Statement: Media coverage of trophy hunting highlights the potential for misinformation to enter public and political debates on conservation issues. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
Article
Transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs) have the potential to provide havens for large carnivores while preserving connectivity across wider mixed-use landscapes. However, information on the status of species in such landscapes is lacking, despite being a prerequisite for effective conservation planning. We contribute information to this gap for l...
Article
One of the immediate responses to COVID-19 has been a call to ban wildlife trade given the suspected origin of the pandemic in a Chinese market selling and butchering wild animals. There is clearly an urgent need to tackle wildlife trade that is illegal, unsustainable or carries major risks to human health, biodiversity conservation or meeting acce...
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The SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19 illness are driving a global crisis. Governments have responded by restricting human movement, which has reduced economic activity. These changes may benefit biodiversity conservation in some ways, but in Africa, we contend that the net conservation impacts of COVID-19 will be strongly negative. Here, we describe h...
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Militarisation of conservation (sometimes known as 'green militarisation') is an issue of growing international interest. Rhino horn is immensely valuable (in 2013 its value exceeded that of gold or cocaine), and its illegal trade has attracted widespread attention. Conservationists have declared a 'war' on poaching, with extensive military resourc...
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Human activity affecting the welfare of wild vertebrates, widely accepted to be sentient, and therefore deserving of moral concern, is widespread. A variety of motives lead to the killing of individual wild animals. These include to provide food, to protect stock and other human interests, and also for sport. The acceptability of such killing is wi...
Article
Trophy hunting as an instrument to improve conservation of wildlife
Article
Developing techniques to quantify the spread and severity of diseases afflicting wildlife populations is important for disease ecology, animal ecology, and conservation. Giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) are in the midst of a dramatic decline, but it is not known whether disease is playing an important role in the broad-scale population reductions....
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Significance Protected areas (PAs) are the cornerstone of conservation yet face funding inadequacies that undermine their effectiveness. Using the conservation needs of lions as a proxy for those of wildlife more generally, we compiled a dataset of funding in Africa’s PAs with lions and estimated a minimum target for conserving the species and mana...
Article
We reviewed recent work concerning the impact of geopolitics on wildlife conservation (and vice versa) and identified future priorities in conservation geopolitics research. Geopolitics is understood as both an analytical focus on geopolitical practices (especially concerning the behavior) of countries with respect to territory and national securit...
Article
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Understanding large carnivore occurrence patterns in anthropogenic landscapes adjacent to protected areas is central to developing actions for species conservation in an increasingly human-dominated world. Among large carnivores, leopards (Panthera pardus) are the most widely distributed felid. Leopards occupying anthropogenic landscapes frequently...
Data
Set of covariates hypothesised to influence site use by leopards (Panthera pardus) across the Ruaha landscape, southern Tanzania, during our surveys in the dry seasons of 2014–2015. A. Distance to the Great Ruaha River; B. Distance to households. Primary prey availability (CPUE), livestock presence and trail type not represented here. (TIF)
Data
Spline correlograms for the leopard (Panthera pardus) occupancy models. Spline correlograms from a generalized linear model (A) and a generalized linear mixed model that included a random intercept at the CT level (B) showing a reduction in spatial autocorrelation. Distance between paired sample locations in kilometres (Km). (TIF)
Data
Variance inflation factor (VIF < 3) of the ecological covariates used to model site use by leopards (Panthera pardus) in the Ruaha landscape, southern Tanzania. (DOCX)
Data
Pearson’s correlation of the putative ecological variables used to model leopard (Panthera pardus) site in the Ruaha landscape, southern Tanzania. Dist.: distance. (DOCX)
Article
Full-text available
Despite their iconic status, lion (Panthera leo) populations continue to decline across the majority of their range. In the light of the recent decision (in October 2017) to add lions to the Appendices of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), this paper identifies the new and existing legal protections afforded to lions through five global tre...
Article
The effectiveness of biodiversity conservation projects is influenced by socio-political context, a reality overlooked by traditional prioritization schemes that use only measures of biological value and threat when deciding where to invest limited conservation resources. We combined ecological and socio-political criteria to illuminate options for...
Chapter
Cheetahs rely heavily upon unprotected land for their habitat requirements, so frequently come into conflict with humans because of their potential to predate upon livestock and farmed game. However, the costs imposed by cheetahs vary, and these costs do not always have a clear-cut relationship with the intensity of conflict caused. Here, we descri...
Chapter
In the course of human history, cheetahs have consistently been a part of human societies in various forms, although their primary role seems to have been as hunting animals. In Africa, they had significant roles in religion, mysticism, and hunting. This was true particularly in northern Africa, where they were highly present in Egyptian culture. I...
Chapter
Mitigating conflict between livestock farmers and cheetahs is key to conserving the species. Livestock guarding dogs (LGDs) have been used to reduce livestock losses to carnivores around the world. In Africa, cheetah conservation organizations have introduced purebred Anatolian Shepherds, encouraged the use of local dogs, and have experimented with...
Article
Consistency is widely believed to be a virtue. Some of the hottest fires of hell, according to Dante's Inferno, are reserved for those who transgress: the hypocrites. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Chapter
Considerable research has been conducted on cheetah ecology. Cheethas can exist in a wide variety of habitats from thick shrub to open grassland, and habitat selection is based on a variety of factors, including visibility, prey density, and avoidance of competitively superior predators. Cheetahs naturally occur at low densities and require a prey...
Chapter
Live capture, tagging, and sampling of free-ranging animals are important means of acquiring health, genetic, and ecological data for wildlife conservation and management. We summarize best-practice procedures for capture, anesthesia, handling, sample collection, and marking of cheetahs. In all capture events involving anesthesia, data collection s...
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Conservation relies heavily on external funding, much of it from a supportive public. Therefore it is important to know which species are most likely to catalyse such funding. Whilst previous work has looked at the physical attributes that contribute to a species’ appeal, no previous studies have tried to examine the extent to which a species’ symp...
Article
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The lion (Panthera leo) is featuring ever more prominently on the agendas of international wildlife treaties like the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). Lion range and numbers have declined markedly over the last two decades. In this revi...
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What does trophy hunting (selective hunting for recreation) contribute to wild lion conservation? Macdonald (Report on Lion Conservation with Particular Respect to the Issue of Trophy Hunting. WildCRU, Oxford, UK, 2016) summarises what we know. We identify unknowns, gaps in the knowledge that inhibit conservation planning, including: the causes of...
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In a world of shrinking habitats and increasing competition for natural resources, potentially dangerous predators bring the challenges of coexisting with wildlife sharply into focus. Through interdisciplinary collaboration between authors trained in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, this paper offers a review of current approac...
Article
Defaunation, the emptying of ecosystems of fauna, has been highlighted as a likely threat to the conservation of carnivores, but the magnitude of this threat has yet to be quantified. We quantify the potential threat defaunation presents to wild felids. Global. For the 32 wild felids that feed primarily on mammals, we used 5,330 prey records from 2...
Article
Many contemporary species of large-felids (>15 kg) feed upon prey that are endangered, raising concern that prey population declines (defaunation) will further threaten felids. We assess the threat that defaunation presents by investigating a late Quaternary (LQ), ‘present-natural’ counterfactual scenario. Our present-natural counterfactual is base...
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Surprisingly little attention has been paid to variation among countries in contributions to conservation. As a first step, we developed a Megafauna Conservation Index (MCI) that assesses the spatial, ecological and financial contributions of 152 nations towards conservation of the world’s terrestrial megafauna. We chose megafauna because they are...
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Finding effective ways of conserving large carnivores is widely recognised as a priority in Conservation. However, there is disagreement about the most effective way to do this, with some favouring top-down “command and control” approaches and others, collaborative approaches. Arguments for coercive top-down approaches have been presented elsewhere...
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Despite legal protection, deliberate killing by local people is one of the major threats to the conservation of lions and other large carnivores in Africa. Addressing this problem poses particular challenges, mainly because it is difficult to uncover illicit behavior. This article examined two groups of Maasai warriors: individuals who have killed...
Data
Interview data analyzed for this study. (XLS)
Article
Full-text available
Establishing and maintaining protected areas (PAs) are key tools for biodiversity conservation. However, this approach is insufficient for many species, particularly those that are wide-ranging and sparse. The cheetah Acinonyx jubatus exemplifies such a species and faces extreme challenges to its survival. Here, we show that the global population i...