Lourens H. Swanepoel

Lourens H. Swanepoel
University of Venda | univen · Department of Zoology

PhD (Wildlife Management)
Senior lecturer in Conservation Biology. Research focus on carnivores.

About

107
Publications
36,017
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
1,158
Citations
Citations since 2017
70 Research Items
958 Citations
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200
Introduction
My research focuses on issues related to carnivore conservation and management, including but not limited to; conservation biology, population monitoring, ecology, conservation policy and ecosystem function/services.
Additional affiliations
August 2015 - present
University of Venda
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • Conservation ecology
January 2015 - present
University of Venda
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • Conservation Biology (Undergraduate course); Conservation Biology (Post Graduate course); Aquatic Ecology (Undergraduate course)
April 2014 - June 2015
University of Venda
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Predator prey dynamics in ago-ecosystems and its implications for ecologically based pest rodent management
Education
April 2009 - April 2013
University of Pretoria
Field of study
  • Wildlife Management
March 2006 - March 2009
University of Pretoria
Field of study
  • Wildlife Management
January 2003 - December 2003
University of Pretoria
Field of study
  • Wildlife Management

Publications

Publications (107)
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Carnivore intraguild dynamics depend on a complex interplay of environmental affinities and interspecific interactions. Context‐dependency is commonly expected with varying suites of interacting species and environmental conditions but seldom empirically described. In South Africa, decentralized approaches to conservation and the resulting...
Chapter
The African civet, Civettictis civetta, is the largest member of the Viverridae family and one of the most widely distributed mesocarnivores in Africa. Despite its wide geographic distribution, little is known about its ecology, behaviour, and conservation biology, such as abundance and density. Mesocarnivores can play important roles in ecosystem...
Article
Black-backed jackals (Canis mesomelas) are opportunistic mesopredators occupying a variety of ecosystems across South Africa (SA). They can move between protected areas (PAs) and surrounding human-dominated landscapes where they are prone to conflict with wildlife and livestock farmers and subsequently face high persecution rates. However, it remai...
Article
The African leopard (Panthera pardus pardus) has lost much of its historical range within South Africa. The remaining suitable habitat for the species includes both protected and unprotected areas in a fragmented landscape mosaic, bringing the species into close contact with human settlements. In order to make successful management decisions for th...
Article
Theory on intraguild killing (IGK) is central to mammalian carnivore community ecology and top‐down ecosystem regulation. Yet, the cryptic nature of IGK hinders empirical evaluations. Using a novel data source ‐ online photographs of interspecific aggression between African carnivores ‐ we revisited existing predictions about the extent and drivers...
Article
Fires are common in many ecosystems worldwide, and are frequently used as a management tool. Although the responses of herbivores to fire have been well‐studied, the responses of carnivores to fire remain unclear. In particular, post‐fire habitat changes, and the associated changes in prey availability, might affect the coexistence or competition o...
Article
Full-text available
Populations of carnivore species outside protected areas may be of considerable importance for conservation, as many protected areas do not provide sufficient space for viable populations. Data on carnivore population sizes and trends are often biased towards protected areas, and few studies have examined the role of unprotected areas for carnivore...
Article
Full-text available
South Africa’s decentralized approach to conservation entails that wildlife outside formally protected areas inhabit complex multi-use landscapes, where private wildlife business (ecotourism and/or hunting) co-exist in a human-dominated landscape matrix. Under decentralized conservation, wildlife is perceived to benefit from increased amount of ava...
Article
Full-text available
The reservoir host of Mokola virus (MOKV), a rabies-related lyssavirus species endemic to Africa, remains unknown. Only sporadic cases of MOKV have been reported since its first discovery in the late 1960s, which subsequently gave rise to various reservoir host hypotheses. One particular hypothesis focusing on non-volant small mammals (e.g. shrews,...
Article
Full-text available
Traditional cultural beliefs influence perceptions of animals and can result in persecution of wildlife. In Africa, stigmas against species associated with witchcraft can act as a barrier to the uptake of sustainable practices such as reducing crop damage through reliance on indigenous predators rather than pesticides to control rodent agricultural...
Article
Full-text available
Temporal separation in diel activity between species can be caused either by different realized niches or by competition avoidance. Morphologically similar species tend to have similar ecological niches. Therefore, morphological similarities among sympatric species may be related to both overlap in diel activity and possibilities for competition. I...
Article
Full-text available
One of the key factors influencing the population dynamics of threatened species such as felids is disease, but long-term studies of the factors influencing seroprevalence of wild felids are extremely rare, hindering conservation efforts. We set out to determine seroprevalence of six viral diseases (feline panleukopenia virus, feline leukemia virus...
Article
Apex predator reintroductions have proliferated across southern Africa, yet their ecological effects and proposed umbrella benefits of associated management lack empirical evaluations. Despite a rich theory on top-down ecosystem regulation via mesopredator suppression, a knowledge gap exists relating to the influence of lions (Panthera leo) over Af...
Article
Full-text available
Nature is experiencing degradation and extinction rates never recorded before in the history of Earth.1,2 Consequently, continuous large-scale monitoring programmes are critical, not only to provide insights into population trends but also to aid in understanding factors associated with altering population dynamics at various temporal and spatial s...
Article
Full-text available
Genetic diversity within partial 18S rRNA sequences from Hepatozoon protozoan parasites from wild felines in South Africa was assessed and compared with data from domestic cats to assess patterns of host specificity. Lions, leopards, servals, a caracal and an African wildcat were all positive for parasites of the Hepatozoon felis-complex. However,...
Article
Conservation efforts in South Africa play out across multi‐use landscapes where formal protected areas coexist with private wildlife business (ecotourism and/or hunting) in a human‐dominated matrix. Despite the persistence of highly diverse carnivore guilds, management idiosyncrasies are often orientated towards charismatic large predators and asse...
Article
Full-text available
Intra-guild interactions related to facilitation and competition can be strong forces structuring ecological communities and have been suggested as particularly prominent for large carnivores. The African lion (Panthera leo) is generally thought to be a dominant predator where it occurs and can be expected to have broad effects on sympatric carnivo...
Article
Frugivory and seed dispersal contribute to the maintenance and regeneration of plant communities through transportation of seeds and enhancing germination through seed processing mechanisms. The effects of mammalian frugivore seed processing mechanisms on seed germination are generally well studied and the potential benefits include disinhibition (...
Article
Rodents generate negative consequences for smallholder farmers in Africa that directly impact household and livestock damage, food security and public health. Ecologically Based Rodent Management (EBRM) seeks sustainable solutions for the mitigation of rodent damage through assessments of rodent population dynamics, agro‐ecosystems and socio‐cultur...
Article
Gut passage time of food has consequences for primate digestive strategies, which subsequently affect seed dispersal. Seed dispersal models are critical in understanding plant population and community dynamics through estimation of seed dispersal distances, combining movement data with gut passage times. Thus, developing methods to collect in situ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Traditional cultural beliefs influence perceptions of animals, and in some cases can result in persecution of wildlife. Stigmas against species associated with witchcraft, for example, can act as a barrier to the uptake of more cost effective, sustainable, and environmentally sound practices such as reducing crop damage by controlling rodent agricu...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Rodents remain a key pest of grain crops globally. Due to the environmental risks and rodenticide resistance in rodents there has been an increased interest in ecologically based rodent control (EBRM). Predation is a key component of EBRM that is often neglected. We use data from field studies and simulation models to investigate the effect of pred...
Article
Full-text available
Satellite telemetry is an increasingly utilized technology in wildlife research, and current devices can track individual animal movements at unprecedented spatial and temporal resolutions. However, as we enter the golden age of satellite telemetry, we need an in-depth understanding of the main technological, species-specific and environmental fact...
Data
R-code for boosted beta regression (Fix acquisition rate). (R)
Data
Covariate partial effects on the variability of the fix acquisition rate. (PDF)
Data
Tagged individuals per species. (PDF)
Data
Covariate partial effects on the variability of the Overall fix success rate. (PDF)
Data
Trends in observed data. (PDF)
Data
Global dataset for boosted beta regressions. (CSV)
Data
Description of data fields in S1 Data. (CSV)
Data
Satellite telemetry articles published. (PDF)
Data
Distribution of response variables and covariates. (PDF)
Data
Unit purchase and operation costs. (PDF)
Data
R-code for boosted beta regression (Overall fix success rate). (R)
Data
Standardized data collection questionnaire. (PDF)
Data
Satellite telemetry evaluations. (PDF)
Article
Full-text available
As the global road network expands, roads pose an emerging threat to wildlife populations. One way in which roads can affect wildlife is wildlife-vehicle collisions, which can be a significant cause of mortality through roadkill. In order to successfully mitigate these problems, it is vital to understand the factors that can explain the distributio...
Chapter
Full-text available
In South Africa, two of the smaller carnivores – caracals Caracal caracal and black-backed jackals Canis mesomelas – are reportedly responsible for most predation on small livestock. However, other species are also implicated in livestock predation in the country including lions Panthera leo, leopards Panthera pardus, cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus, ser...
Article
Full-text available
As the environment becomes increasingly altered by human development, the importance of understanding the ways in which wildlife interact with modified landscapes is becoming clear. Areas such as industrial sites are sometimes presumed to have little conservation value, but many of these sites have areas of less disturbed habitats around their core...
Article
Full-text available
Due to the strong individual cost of being predated, potential prey species alter their behavior and physiology in response to predation risk. Such alterations may cause major indirect consequences on prey populations that are additive to the direct demographic effects caused by prey being killed. However, although earlier studies showed strong gen...
Article
Full-text available
Tissue samples from wildlife from South Africa were opportunistically collected and screened for haemoprotozoan parasites using nonspecific PCR primers. Samples of 127 individuals were tested, comprising over 50 different species. Haemogregarines were the most commonly identified parasites, but sarcocystids and piroplasmids were also detected. Phyl...
Data
Raw data for Chizzola et al. 2018 Front Ecology and Evolution 6:191, doi: 10.3389/fevo.2018.00191
Preprint
Full-text available
As the global road network expands, roads pose an emerging threat to wildlife populations. One way in which roads can affect wildlife is wildlife-vehicle collisions, which can be a significant cause of mortality through roadkill. In order to successfully mitigate these problems, it is vital to understand the factors that can explain the distributio...
Preprint
As the global road network expands, roads pose an emerging threat to wildlife populations. One way in which roads can affect wildlife is wildlife-vehicle collisions, which can be a significant cause of mortality through roadkill. In order to successfully mitigate these problems, it is vital to understand the factors that can explain the distributio...
Article
Full-text available
The current geographical distribution of the Egyptian Mongoose or Large Grey Mongoose, Herpestes ichneumon (Linnaeus, 1758), in South Africa is limited to the south-eastern coastal and eastern sections of the country. One recent sighting in the central part of the country suggested a wider geographical distribution. In this study, we report on conf...
Article
Full-text available
Human-dominated landscapes comprise the bulk of the world's terrestrial surface and Africa is predicted to experience the largest relative increase over the next century. A multi-scale approach is required to identify processes that maintain diversity in these landscapes. Here we identify scales at which animal diversity responds by partitioning re...
Data
List of bat species, families and foraging groups recorded from manual identifications of a random subset of four sites (two nights each) per village, and the codes given to species-groups defined for subsequent automated identification with minimal overlap in call parameters using scans and filters in Analook v. 4.1t, 2015 (Titley Electronics, www...
Data
Proportion of total richness contributed by alpha and beta components for all seven taxa based on individual- and sample-based partitioning respectively. (DOCX)
Data
Response of animal communities to three land use types: Croplands, settlements, and rangelands in a rural landscape using two response variables, (a) abundance and (b) richness. All values were standardized for comparison to represent standard deviations from the mean. Whiskers represent the range, boxes the first and third quartiles, dark lines th...
Data
R-script and associated R output of PERMANOVA analyses for acoustically-obtained (SM2 bat detectors, Wildlife Acoustics) abundance data for 13 species-groups of bats using Bray-Curtis distance. Analyses were conducted in R using the “vegan”, “car” and “MASS” packages. Species group codes and foraging associations (open-air, clutter and clutter-edge...
Preprint
Full-text available
As the environment becomes increasingly altered by human development, the importance of understanding the ways in which wildlife interact with modified landscapes is becoming clear. Areas such as industrial sites are sometimes presumed to have little conservation value, but many of these sites have areas of less disturbed habitats around their core...
Article
Full-text available
This dataset includes data derived from camera trap surveys and questionnaire surveys relating to small carnivores in agro-ecosystems in the Vhembe Biosphere Reserve, South Africa. The data were collected as part of the study “Predation by small mammalian carnivores in rural agro-ecosystems: An undervalued ecosystem service?”[1]. Camera trap locati...
Article
Relatively little is known about protozoan parasites in African animals. Here we investigated the occurrence of protozoan parasites in mammals from South Africa. Oocysts of protozoan parasites were detected in 13 of 56 (23%) fecal samples using conventional microscopic examination methods. Cryptosporidium spp. and Isospora spp. were detected in eig...
Article
Full-text available
La teoría depredador-presa sugiere que los depredadores generalistas están vinculados a la estabilidad demográfica de las presas, mientras que los especialistas son desestabilizadores. En este artículo hemos hecho una revisión general de las consecuencias demográficas de diferentes estrategias de depredación y hemos intentado testar la hipótesis de...
Article
Africa is endowed with a diverse guild of small carnivores, which could benefit stakeholders by providing ecosystem services while fostering conservation tolerance for carnivores. To investigate the potential of small carnivores for the biological control of rodents within agro-ecosystems, we assessed both the eco- logical and social landscapes wit...
Article
Conservation agriculture (CA) is advocated as a sustainable farming method to improve soil health, increase crop yields and food security, while reducing input costs. In South Africa, a country with low rainfall, limited agricultural lands and a large smallholder farming community, implementing CA is imperative. To investigate the research status o...
Article
Full-text available
Rodent pests are especially problematic in terms of agriculture and public health since they can inflict considerable economic damage associated with their abundance, diversity, generalist feeding habits and high reproductive rates. To quantify rodent pest impacts and identify trends in rodent pest research impacting on small-holder agriculture in...
Data
List of rodent genera detected in rodent pest research in African agricultural systems from 1960–2015. (PDF)
Data
Complete list of all publications used in the review–Publications in bold did not have full texts available at time of review. (DOCX)
Data
List of different crops and cropping system as impacted by rodent pests in African agriculture (1960–2015). (PDF)
Data
Web of Science TM search history–. (TXT)
Data
Data set from the paper: A systematic review of rodent pest research in Afro-Malagasy small-holder farming systems: Are we asking the right questions? publish in PloSOne
Article
Full-text available
Understanding resource selection and quantifying habitat connectivity are fundamental to conservation planning for both land-use and species management plans. However, datasets available to management authorities for resource selection and connectivity analyses are often highly limited and fragmentary. As a result, measuring connectivity is challen...
Chapter
Full-text available
Selous’ Mongoose is listed as Least Concern since although it is uncommon and likely living at low-density across its range (with possibly fewer than 1,000 mature individuals in the assessment region), it is relatively widespread, and occurs in well-protected savannah woodland and grassland habitats. The expansion of wildlife ranching in Limpopo ma...