Lindy Thompson

Lindy Thompson
University of KwaZulu-Natal | ukzn · School of Life Sciences

PhD
Currently working on collaborative monitoring, conservation and research projects involving vultures and Raptor Health.

About

37
Publications
25,972
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
204
Citations
Citations since 2016
24 Research Items
163 Citations
201620172018201920202021202201020304050
201620172018201920202021202201020304050
201620172018201920202021202201020304050
201620172018201920202021202201020304050
Introduction
I co-ordinate collaborative research and conservation projects on vultures for the Endangered Wildlife Trust in South Africa's Lowveld region. We mitigate threats to vultures through the implementation of Vulture Safe Zones, monitor vulture breeding activity and deliver Poison Response Training. I am a member of the IUCN SSC Vulture Specialist Group, and South Africa's Vulture Task Force, Lead Task Team, and Wildlife Poisoning Prevention Working Group.
Additional affiliations
February 2015 - January 2018
University of KwaZulu-Natal
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • I studying the breeding ecology and movements of Hooded Vultures, in the Kruger-to-Canyons Biosphere Reserve, South Africa.
February 2014 - June 2014
University of KwaZulu-Natal
Position
  • Demonstrator: 'Evolutionary Animal Physiology' (3rd year undergrad module)
February 2012 - June 2013
University of KwaZulu-Natal
Position
  • Replacement lecturer: 'Biology 101', 'Vertebrate Biology', 'Plant and Animal Ecophysiology' (1st & 2nd year undergrad modules)
Description
  • I gave lectures to students from very diverse backgrounds, in classes of up to 200 students. I also set and marked exams, and lead practicals.
Education
February 2012 - January 2015
University of KwaZulu-Natal
Field of study
  • Ecology
September 2004 - August 2005
The University of Reading
Field of study
September 2001 - June 2004

Publications

Publications (37)
Article
Tracking studies are often used to inform conservation plans and actions. However, species have frequently only been tracked in one or a few localities, while space use can be remarkably flexible, especially in long‐lived species with advanced learning abilities. We assessed variability in space use in the Critically Endangered Hooded Vulture, Necr...
Article
Vulture numbers are globally in a decline and many species are considered as either endangered or critically endangered. The same applies to vultures in South Africa, raising concerns about the long-term persistence of these ecologically important birds in this country. The government is obliged to exercise its fiducial duties to bring into force l...
Article
A hard, black deposit was found clogging birds’ feet at Ferncliffe Nature Reserve in South Africa. The reserve is infested with invasive Lantana (Lantana camara). We hypothesised that small frugivorous, nectarivorous and insectivorous birds which foraged in Lantana would be most affected by the hard deposit, which could enclose the toes, making the...
Article
Hooded Vultures Necrosyrtes monachus are critically endangered but little is known of their year-round use of nests or whether other species usurp Hooded Vulture nest sites. We investigated visitation rates by Hooded Vultures and other species (including potential nest predators and usurpers) to examine their effect on Hooded Vulture breeding succe...
Article
Hooded Vultures have suffered from dramatic population declines in recent decades owing to anthropogenic pressures. To properly address this threat, the sociocultural perspectives towards this species should be considered. We examined peoples' perceptions, knowledge and beliefs on Hooded Vulture's sociocultural values in Burkina Faso through face t...
Article
The current catastrophic decline in African vultures is caused mainly by poisoning, and killing for consumption and belief-based use (traditional medicine). To find out more about the key threats to vultures in West Africa, we assessed the main anthropogenic causes of vulture mortality in Burkina Faso. We analysed incidents of mass vulture mortalit...
Article
Full-text available
Most vulture species worldwide are in decline and of conservation concern. Despite the growing attention to vultures, relatively few studies have focused on their breeding behaviour. Understanding all aspects of a species’ behaviour and its behavioural needs could help to inform conservation efforts. Behavioural studies can be enhanced with the use...
Article
Full-text available
African wildlife face challenges from many stressors including current and emerging contaminants, habitat and resource loss, poaching, intentional and unintentional poisoning, and climate‐related environmental change. The plight of African vultures exemplifies these challenges due to environmental contaminants and other stressors acting on individu...
Article
Protected areas are intended as tools in reducing threats to wildlife and preserving habitat for their long-term population persistence. Studies on ranging behavior provide insight into the utility of protected areas. Vultures are one of the fastest declining groups of birds globally and are popular subjects for telemetry studies, but continent-wid...
Article
Full-text available
Raptors have crucial functions, both ecologically and as environmental indicators. Currently, many raptor species worldwide are threatened, and the potential loss of functional groups will yield dire consequences. We identified the trends and causes of raptor admissions to the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, Limpopo province, South Afric...
Article
Full-text available
African vulture populations are rapidly declining, yet funding and other resources available for their conservation are limited. Improving our understanding of which African vulture species could best serve as an umbrella species for the entire suite of African vultures could help conservationists save time, money, and resources by focusing their e...
Article
Full-text available
Vultures provide crucial ecological, economic, and cultural benefits, yet many Old World populations are declining. The illegal trade in vultures for traditional medicines (known as muthi in South Africa) is widely regarded as an important threat to the conservation of African vultures, but there are relatively few studies on the acquisition and tr...
Article
Full-text available
One Health brings the powerful interrelationship between human and wildlife health together with ecosystem health. The initial concept of One Health was formulated decades ago and focused on disease transfer from wildlife to human populations. More recently, the concept has been used to associate resilience to disease with the health of the ecosyst...
Article
African vulture populations are currently in rapid decline, due to a range of anthropogenic factors. These include intentional and unintentional poisoning; degradation, fragmentation, and loss of habitat; and the killing of vultures to obtain body parts for use in traditional medicine. Consequently, people living in rural communities adjacent to pr...
Article
Vultures are a key component of an effective scavenger guild and have evolved a number of adaptations that allow them to locate and dispose of carcasses quickly and efficiently. The continuing decline of African vultures is threatening the stability of the African scavenger guild, which may result in increased carcass decomposition times and thus,...
Article
Full-text available
Vulture declines are uniquely problematic for socioecological systems because they are nature's most important scavengers. Intentional and unintentional poisoning, human-wildlife conflict, energy infrastructure, belief-based use, and illegal hunting activities remain threats to vulture populations across Africa. Conservation stakeholders have ident...
Article
Background and objective: African vultures are under pressure from various, well-known anthropogenic threats. Here we describe and aim to highlight a littleknown source of mortality to two Critically Endangered vulture species (Gyps africanus and Necrosyrtes monachus), as well as the Endangered Cape Vulture (Gyps copropheres) in southern Africa – t...
Article
Egyptian geese Alopochen aegyptiaca are widely reported to be territorial and aggressive. They are known to attack and sometimes kill other birds and they may attempt to usurp their nests. Here information is collated on the bird species whose nests have been used or usurped by Egyptian geese. Also presented are observations from a series of camera...
Article
An adult Verreaux's Eagle (Aquila verreauxii) was observed eating a White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus) nestling at a nest at Sango in the Savé Valley Conservancy, southeastern Zimbabwe on 13 October 2017. This nest has been regularly occupied for 21 successive breeding seasons. To our knowledge, this observation represents a previously unrecorde...
Article
Of the numerous factors affecting avian metabolic rate, altitude is one of the least studied. We used mass-flow respirometry to measure resting metabolic rate (RMR), evaporative water loss (EWL) and respiratory exchange ratio (RER) in two populations of a small (10-12g) Afrotropical bird, the Cape White-eye (Zosterops virens), in summer and in wint...
Article
Relatively little is documented about nest material theft in vultures. We used camera traps to monitor Hooded Vulture Necrosyrtes monachus nests for a year. We report camera trap photographs of a starling Lamprotornis sp. removing what appeared to be dung from an inactive Hooded Vulture nest on Cleveland Game Reserve, northeastern South Africa, in...
Article
Studies have only recently begun to underpin the importance of including data on species’ physiological flexibility when modelling their vulnerability to extinction from climate change. Here we investigated the effects of a 4°C increase in ambient temperature (Ta), similar to that predicted for southern Africa by the year 2080, on certain physiolog...
Article
The few within-species studies on the effects of long-term captivity on avian physiological variables have small samples sizes and contradictory results. Nevertheless, many physiological studies make use of long-term captive birds, assuming the results will be applicable to wild populations. Here we investigated the effects of long-term captivity o...
Article
The recent scientific literature employs three binomial names for the southern African endemic bird known as the Cape White-eye: Zosterops capensis, Z. pallidus and Z. virens. This unacceptable inconsistency reflects the contention regarding white-eye systematics. Recent molecular work by Oatley and colleagues led to the suggestion that Z. virens a...
Article
Invasive species are a major threat to global biodiversity. Rose-ringed parakeets Psittacula krameri are widely established outside their native range and are successful invaders in many countries, including South Africa. Physiological and behavioral responses to environmental conditions are considered to be major factors that influence the abundan...
Article
Full-text available
With many species of southern African raptors becoming increasingly threatened, records from rehabilitation centres can give an indication of the threats faced by birds of prey in particular areas and to particular species. Thus, admissions records from a raptor rehabilitation centre in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, were analysed for trends. Over ei...
Article
Full-text available
Complex begging display by bird offspring has predominantly been investigated in diurnal species, which have conspicuous gape colours or plumage features. In nocturnal species, in contrast, such visual communication has received little attention because the assumption is that they exclusively rely on vocal communication. Here, we use a field experi...
Article
Full-text available
The key aim of this project was to investigate and safeguard breeding Lapwing, Redshank, Dunlin and Snipe on machair and neighbouring islands in north-west Co. Mayo with the key elements being to census the numbers of territorial waders at 10 sites within 3 locations, investigate their breeding productivity, assess the sub-specific identification o...

Questions

Questions (8)
Question
I have shape files of monthly kernel areas for a group of vultures. I also have a shape file of protected areas in a country. I want to determine how much the vultures are using protected areas. I guess this could be done in terms of proportion of time spent in protected areas, or the percentage of points located in protected areas. I'd also like to see if birds are roosting in protected areas, but perhaps feeding outside them, or vice versa, so I might want to divide the data into 'daytime' and 'nighttime', and then look at whether points are inside or outside protected areas. Does anyone have any advice please on a method I could use to do this? Are there repositories somewhere with shapefiles of protected areas for different countries? Thank-you.
Question
I am currently using the most recent version of R (version 3.2.5, R Core Team, 2016), but when I try to install T-LoCoH on this version of R, I get the following error message: package ‘tlocoh’ is not available (for R version 3.2.5). Which earlier versions of R are compatible with T-LoCoH?
Question
I am analysing movement data from 18 satellite-tagged individuals from an Old World vulture species. Upon inspecting the data I found there were 3 sampling regimes used:
(i) hourly, 2am to 7pm,
(ii) hourly, 3am to 8pm, and
(iii) every 3 hrs, continually, day and night.
I wonder how this will affect my calculations of monthly home range size (using 95% mcps and kernels). For the birds where fixes were not taken at night, will the importance of their nocturnal roost sites be underestimated in the home range estimates? Do I need to do some data cleaning before I start estimating home range size? And if so, how can I account for these 3 different sampling regimes in my calculations of monthly home range size?
Also, would cross validated be a better smoothing method than Href for these birds (which I expect to move mainly between roost/nest site and the same feeding site each day).
And is there any point in including mcps? The recent literature seems to imply that they are generally included only because other researchers include them, so 'for comparison with other studies', but they don't seem to be the best way of estimating home range size in a large bird which will have a few sites it spends most of its time at (roost/nest site and daily feeding site, for those birds that feed at vulture restaurants).
Lastly, would the package 'adehabitatHR' in R be the best way to get monthly home range sizes? Or would folks recommend T-LoCoH?
Thanks.
Question
I want to find a system where I can download video footage of birds' nests remotely, without having to climb the tree to access the camera (nests and video cameras are 12-20m above the ground). Does anyone have any recommendations for a system I can use? Thanks in advance.
Question
People seem to use a variety of materials for their respirometry chambers. Is there any published evidence that Perspex chambers have longer washout times for water, or that stainless steel is the best for measuring evaporative water loss?
Many thanks.
Question
Burnham & Anderson's (2002) book suggests that estimate sizes are more important than p-values, and therefore don't worry about significance when modelling. But a reviewer recently asked me for p-values, whcih I hadn't included in my modelling.
Is it ok to do this:
1. made a set of candidate models a priori (following Burnham & Anderson 2002)
2. compare AICc values from the different models
3. select the best model (or do model averaging if needs be) to find the 'best' model.
Or: is it necessary to remove all non-significant fixed and random effects from the models before comparing AICc values?
Are there currently 2 schools of thought on this ('include p-values' vs. 'significance of predictor variables isn't important'), or have most people moved to including p-values of effects, to determine their significance. A paper by Cheng (2010) suggests a global model may contain non-significant predictors if they have biological importance.
Many thanks.

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (2)
Project
1. To determine nest site preference and breeding success of Hooded Vultures in the Kruger-to-Canyons Biosphere Reserve, South Africa. 2. To determine the factors affecting the movements of adult and juvenile Hooded Vultures satellite tagged in 3 African countries. 3. To investigate the feeding ecology of the vulture species at 5 vulture restaurants in north-eastern South Africa.