Claudio Sillero

Claudio Sillero
University of Oxford | OX · Department of Zoology

DPhil

About

239
Publications
116,822
Reads
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9,652
Citations
Additional affiliations
April 2015 - present
University of Oxford
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
May 2003 - March 2015
University of Oxford
Position
  • Zoology Senior Research Fellow
May 1995 - April 2003
University of Oxford
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (239)
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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Jaguar (Panthera onca) populations are declining in Bolivia because of human activity. Understanding the attitudes and perceptions of local people toward threatened species and the factors that can influence them is crucial for their protection. This study evaluated how local people’s knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions towards jaguars in souther...
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Successful conservation depends on accurate taxonomy. Currently, the taxonomy of canids in Africa, Eurasia and Australasia is unstable as recent molecular and morphological studies have questioned earlier phenetic classifications. We review available information on several taxa of Old World and Australasian Canis with phylogenetic uncertainties (na...
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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...
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Ethiopia is renowned for its cultural and biological diversity and covers an important share of lion habitat in Africa, providing connectivity between East and Central Africa. The aim of this study was to investigate the status of lions and human–lion conflict in several protected areas of Ethiopia and to present an overview on lion distribution na...
Article
Throughout their range, jaguars (Panthera onca) are persecuted for killing livestock, posing a widespread and serious threat to their survival. Human-jaguar conflict occurs across a very large variety of geographic, agronomic and socio-economic contexts and across heterogeneous communities. We conducted seventeen case studies across seven countries...
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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...
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In African wildlife conservation literature, southern and southeastern African voices dominate, giving a false impression of pan-Africanism. We present divergent perspectives from West, Central and the Horn of Africa and argue that empathy towards multiple perspectives offers increased resilience to COVID-19 and other crises.
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Aim: We explore the phylogeography of Himalayan wolves using multiple genetic markers applied on a landscape-scale dataset and relate our findings to the biogeographic history of the region. Location: Himalayas of Nepal, the Tibetan Plateau of China and mountain ranges of Central Asia. Taxon: Himalayan wolf (also called the Tibetan wolf), Canis...
Article
Monitoring the movements and behaviour of wildlife using radio telemetry or GPS devices has been critical to the fields of ecology and conservation over several decades. For many field projects however, commercially available devices can be expensive and may not always be ideally suited for collecting desired data. We present a low‐cost solution of...
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Throughout its range in Latin America, the jaguar Panthera onca is threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, and by conflict as a result of coexistence with people. This Near Threatened species is a top predator, and is often illegally hunted. Understanding people's attitudes and perceptions and the factors that could influence them is crucial...
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The Himalayan wolf Canis sp. and snow leopard Panthera uncia are found in the Nepalese Himalayas where conservation efforts target the latter but not the former. We conducted semistructured questionnaire surveys of 71 residents in upper Humla, upper Dolpa, and Kanchenjunga Conservation Area (KCA) during 2014–2016 to understand people's knowledge, p...
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The Canidae are successful, being a widespread, abundant, speciose, and adaptable family. Several canids in particular have recently experienced rapid expansions in range and abundance, with similar situations mirrored on several continents by different species. Despite extreme behavioral diversity between and within species, monogamy is a common d...
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National Park (BSNP), accumulating 845 h of focal observation across 2952 feeding events. We also monitored rodent abundance and rodent trapping activity by local farmers who experience conflict with AWs. The AW diet consisted largely of rodents (22.0%), insects (24.8%), and goats and sheep (24.3%). Of the total rodents captured by farmers using lo...
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Carnivore predation on livestock and game species leads to human-carnivore conflict. Thus, understanding the foraging ecology of threatened carnivores is important for conservation planning. We explore the summer diet of the Himalayan wolf, and of sympatric carnivores, based on the analysis of 257 field collected and genetically confirmed scat samp...
Article
Mammalian space‐use patterns are largely determined by the resources utilized as well as by given habitat characteristics, as can be illustrated by rodents displaying predominantly subterranean activity. These rodents are largely limited in their use of space by their burrow systems. This results in smaller home ranges than is usual for rodents of...
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Conservation planers need reliable information on spatial patterns of biodiversity. However, existing data sets are skewed because some ecosystems, taxa, and locations are underrepresented. We determined how many articles have been published in recent decades on the biodiversity of different countries and their constituent provinces. We searched th...
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We used bibliometric data to show that Black, African, and women researchers are underrepresented among authors of field studies on lions (Panthera leo) in Africa. This may lead to biased representation in institutions dealing with lion research and conservation and reinforce disenfranchisement with one of the most emblematic species in Africa. We...
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We analysed seismic signals in two spalacid rodents with a different degree of fossoriality: the giant root-rat (Tachyoryctes macrocephalus) and the Gansu zokor (Eospalax cansus). As all hitherto studied spalacids they also produce seismic signals by head-thumping, which probably evolved as a ritualization of soil tampering. The seismic signal of g...
Book
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Overview Department of Biology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens together with Biosfaira NGO Greece, Crispus NGO Sibiu Romania and GOlden JAckal Informal study Group Europe (GOJAGE) organized the Second International Symposium on jackals and related species, 2IJS. The aim of the meeting was to create a fertile ground for productive d...
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Background: A high-quality reference genome assembly is a valuable tool for the study of non-model organisms. Genomic techniques can provide important insights about past population sizes, local adaptation, and aid in the development of breeding management plans. This information is important for fields like conservation genetics, where endangered...
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The Himalayan wolf seems uniquely adapted to life at high-altitudes of the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau. Through a non-invasive survey we confirm the presence of the Himalayan wolf across the Nepalese Himalayas and its phylogenetic distinctness based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA. We use the data generated from 287 scat and hair samples com...
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The conservation of rare and endangered carnivores in human dominated landscapes is particularly challenging when predators are perceived as a threat to livestock. This study verifies whether the human perception of Ethiopian wolves as predators of livestock accurately reflects the actual damage done by this specialist predator of highland rodents....
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Carnivore populations are declining globally due to range contraction, persecution and prey depletion. One consequence of these patterns is increased range and niche overlap with other carnivores, and thus an elevated potential for competitive exclusion. Here, we document competition between an endangered canid, the Ethiopian wolf (EW), and the new...
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...
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Lions have often been discussed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild flora and fauna (CITES). While CITES decisions on species trade regimes are ostensibly based on science, species data are often inconclusive and political considerations inevitably determine outcomes. We present the context of lion conservation...
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Widespread deaths recently devastated the smallest known population of Ethiopian wolves. Of 7 carcasses found, all 3 tested were positive for rabies. Two wolves were subsequently vaccinated for rabies; 1 of these later died from canine distemper. Only 2 of a known population of 13 wolves survived. © 2017, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention...
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African buffalo the primary source of foot and mouth disease (FMD) infection for livestock in South Africa. Predicting the spatial drivers and patterns of buffalo-cattle contact risk is crucial for developing effective FMD mitigation strategies. Therefore, the goal of this study was to predict fine-scale, seasonal contact risk between cattle and bu...
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The peaceful coexistence between people and the rare Ethiopian wolf Canis simensis is being challenged by conflicts rising due to livestock predation by wild carnivores. Understanding the cultural and socio-economic context of these conflicts can help to prevent negative attitudes and retaliatory killings, which have the potential to seriously comp...
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We captured 14 individual African wolves (Canis lupaster) a total of 16 times in the Ethiopian Highlands in April 2015 and March 2016 by using rubber-lined foothold traps and immobilized them with dexmedetomidine-ketamine. Traps were baited with sheep meat and surveyed every 2 h. Capture efficiency (number of captures per number of visits) was 0.94...
Preprint
Full-text available
A high-quality reference genome assembly is a valuable tool for the study of non- model organisms across disciplines. Genomic techniques can provide important insights about past population sizes, local adaptation, and even aid in the development of breeding management plans. This information can be particularly important for fields like conservati...
Article
Full-text available
We provide insights into pack composition and den site parameters of the Himalayan wolf Canis (lupus) himalayensis based on observations of free-ranging wolves in three study areas in Nepal. We combine this with a social survey of the local Buddhist communities regarding human–carnivore conflict, to draw inferences for conservation practice in the...
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Canine distemper virus (CDV) has been implicated in population declines of wildlife, including many threatened species. Here we present the full genome of CDV from an Ethiopian wolf, Canis simensis , the world’s rarest and most endangered canid.
Article
Organisms adapted to life at high elevations are particularly threatened by climate change, which can cause them to become isolated on mountain tops, yet their responses may vary according to their position in the food chain and their ecological flexibility. Predicting the future distributions of such organisms requires fine-tuned species-specific...
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Body form and function of animal species have been shaped over time in response to prevailing local conditions that affect survival and reproduction. Morphological variation in size and shape thus occurs within-species across eco-geographic regions. Different theories have been proposed to explain this variation. For example, Bergmann’s rule posits...
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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
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Wolves in the Himalayan region form a monophyletic lineage distinct from the present-day Holarctic grey wolf Canis lupus spp. (Linnaeus 1758) found across Eurasia and North America. Here, we analyse phylogenetic relationships and the geographic distribution of mitochondrial DNA haplotypes of the contemporary Himalayan wolf (proposed in previous stu...
Article
The pale fox (Vulpes pallida) is a small, little known African carnivore that is patchily distributed throughout the Sahel. We studied the food habits of pale foxes in the Termit and Tin Toumma National Nature Reserve in south-eastern Niger by examining the frequency of occurrence and proportions of prey remains in scats (n = 398). Arthropods, prim...
Data
Lion survey results in the WAP. Columns 1–5 are taken from Bouché et al. [1] and columns 6–7 are from their original survey report, the other columns show our original calculations. Note that distance to water is not a significant factor at the level of individual Hunting Zones and therefore we calculated estimates without stratification, which exp...
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We assessed losses of livestock to lions Panthera leo and leopards Panthera pardus in the Adiyo and Gimbo districts in Kafa Biosphere Reserve, Ethiopia. We quantified the economic impact, conducted household and group interviews, and explored potential solutions with local people. During 2009–2013 there were 350 and 62 attacks by lions and leopards...
Article
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Rodents adjust their activity to environmental conditions. The adjustment can be especially pronounced in climatically challenging environments. We studied activity patterns in the free-living giant root rat (Tachyoryctes macrocephalus), a large fossorial rodent endemic to the Afro-alpine ecosystem of the Bale Mountains, Ethiopia, by means of radio...
Article
Full-text available
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
Rodents with prevailing subterranean activity usually play an important role in the ecosystems of which they are a part due to the combined effect of herbivory and soil perturbation. This is also the case of the giant root-rat Tachyoryctes macrocephalus, Rüppell 1842, endemic to the Afroalpine ecosystem of the Bale Mountains, Ethiopia. We studied t...