Philipp Henschel

Philipp Henschel
Panthera

PhD

About

84
Publications
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3,450
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Publications

Publications (84)
Article
Full-text available
As the top predator in African ecosystems, lions have lost more than 90% of their historical range, and few countries possess strong evidence for stable populations. Translocations (broadly defined here as the capture and movement of lions for various management purposes) have become an increasingly popular action for this species, but the wide arr...
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
Full-text available
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...
Article
Full-text available
Conservation translocations have become an important management tool, particularly for large wildlife species such as the lion (Panthera leo). When planning translocations, the genetic background of populations needs to be taken into account; failure to do so risks disrupting existing patterns of genetic variation, ultimately leading to genetic hom...
Preprint
Efforts to preserve, protect, and restore ecosystems are hindered by long delays between data collection and analysis. Threats to ecosystems can go undetected for years or decades as a result. Real-time data can help solve this issue but significant technical barriers exist. For example, automated camera traps are widely used for ecosystem monitori...
Article
Full-text available
Conflict with humans and habitat fragmentation are major threats to large carnivores in Africa, and transboundary protected areas may ease some of the space requirements for individual countries. The W-Arly-Pendjari complex (WAP) in West Africa sits across Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger and is the last regional stronghold for many species, including...
Article
Full-text available
1. Ecological data are collected over vast geographic areas using digital sensors such as camera traps and bioacoustic recorders. Camera traps have become the standard method for surveying many terrestrial mammals and birds, but camera trap arrays often generate millions of images that are time‐consuming to label. This causes significant latency be...
Preprint
Full-text available
Ecological data are increasingly collected over vast geographic areas using arrays of digital sensors. Camera trap arrays have become the ‘gold standard’ method for surveying many terrestrial mammals and birds, but these arrays often generate millions of images that are challenging to process. This causes significant latency between data collection...
Article
Full-text available
Kenya's Tsavo National Parks are a critical conservation area and the only wilderness corridor through densely populated human‐dominated landscapes stretching from the East African coast to Lake Victoria, separating extensive undeveloped grasslands south of the equator from the undeveloped semiarid bushlands to the north. At nearly 21,000 km2, Tsav...
Article
Full-text available
Human disturbance can have a profound effect on the occurrence and distribution of wildlife. Such disturbance often extends into protected areas (PAs), particularly in countries that have undergone civil strife and lack the institutional capacity to effectively mitigate anthropogenic threats. We demonstrate the first application of a multi‐species...
Article
Full-text available
Protected areas (PAs) play an important role in conserving biodiversity and providing ecosystem services, yet their effectiveness is undermined by funding shortfalls. Using lions (Panthera leo) as a proxy for PA health, we assessed available funding relative to budget requirements for PAs in Africa's savannahs. We compiled a dataset of 2015 funding...
Article
Full-text available
Lions (Panthera leo) are of particular conservation concern due to evidence of recent, widespread population declines in what has hitherto been seen as a common species, robust to anthropogenic disturbance. Here we use non-invasive methods to recover complete mitochondrial genomes from single hair samples collected in the field in order to explore...
Article
Full-text available
Once found throughout Africa and Eurasia, the leopard (Panthera pardus) was recently uplisted from Near Threatened to Vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Historically, more than 50% of the leopard's global range occurred in continental Africa, yet sampling from this part of the species' distribution is only...
Article
Full-text available
The geographic distribution and habitat association of most mammalian polymorphic phenotypes are still poorly known, hampering assessments of their adaptive significance. Even in the case of the black panther, an iconic melanistic variant of the leopard (Panthera pardus), no map exists describing its distribution. We constructed a large database of...
Data
Panthera pardus location records used in the present study. (PDF)
Data
Environmental predictors used in the initial analysis and selected with Pearson's test (in red). (PDF)
Data
New distributional map for Panthera pardus. Location records comprising our full database are indicated, and overlaid on the present IUCN range map along with additional areas of occurrence documented in this study. Subspecies partitions proposed by Uphyrkina et al. (2001) are also indicated, including summaries of the number records of each colora...
Data
Response curves observed in the Maxent analysis for each environmental predictor used to construct the non-melanistic (control) model. (PDF)
Data
Response curves observed in the Maxent analysis for each environmental predictor used to construct the melanistic model. (PDF)
Data
Graphs depicting the results of the suitability test comparing the melanistic and non-melanistic models across all the location records in our database (p<0.001). Mean suitability in the non-melanistic model = 0.594 (standard deviation = 0.167); mean suitability in the melanistic model = 0.192 (standard deviation = 0.280). (PDF)
Data
In-depth analysis of environmental variables and their relationship with melanism in leopards. The top three graphs (panel A) depict the relationships between the two variables identified as having differential effects on the two phenotypes (see S6 Fig), as well as their relationship with a measure of cover (vegetation index NDVI). For each graph,...
Data
Detailed maps showing the geographic distribution of records comprising our database of melanistic and non-melanistic leopards, overlaid on the terrestrial biomes (based on Olson et al. 2001). Each major geographic region representing a leopard subspecies is shown in a separate panel. (PDF)
Data
Detailed assessment of the 12 bioclimatic predictors selected for inclusion in the Maxent modeling of the two coloration phenotypes, after removing the variables showing the most correlation relative to all others (see Methods). A) Relative importance of each variable for modeling habitat suitability, depicted separately for three geographic scales...
Article
Full-text available
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...
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...
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...
Article
Full-text available
The PREDICTS project—Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems (www.predicts.org.uk)—has collated from published studies a large, reasonably representative database of comparable samples of biodiversity from multiple sites that differ in the nature or intensity of human impacts relating to land use. We have used t...
Data
The PREDICTS project—Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems (www.predicts.org.uk)—has collated from published studies a large, reasonably representative database of comparable samples of biodiversity from multiple sites that differ in the nature or intensity of human impacts relating to land use. We have used t...
Article
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...
Article
Full-text available
The lion Panthera leo is Critically Endangered in West Africa and is known to occupy only four protected areas within the region. The largest population persists in the trans-boundary W-Arly-Pendjari (WAP) ecosystem, in the border region of Benin, Burkina Faso, and Niger. WAP harbors an estimated 350 individuals, or 90% of West Africa’s lions. We m...
Article
Full-text available
Comparative phylogeography of African savannah mammals shows a congruent pattern in which populations in West/Central Africa are distinct from populations in East/Southern Africa. However, for the lion, all African populations are currently classified as a single subspecies (Panthera leo leo), while the only remaining population in Asia is consider...
Article
Full-text available
The leopard’s (Panthera pardus) broad geographic range, remarkable adaptability, and secretive nature have contributed to a misconception that this species might not be severely threatened across its range. We find that not only are several subspecies and regional populations critically endangered but also the overall range loss is greater than the...
Article
Africa's equatorial forests are threatened by widespread deforestation and bushmeat hunting, with both threats spreading into formerly remote areas due to rapid human population growth and large-scale expansions of commercial resource extraction such as logging and mining, as well as forest clearing for agriculture. Many globally threatened species...
Article
Full-text available
In Table 1, the information in the “Source msat data” column is incorrect for the “Zambia” row. Please see the corrected Table 1 here. Table 1 Overview of lion populations included in this study.
Article
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In dismissing the conclusions of our paper, “Lion (Panthera leo) populations are declining rapidly across Africa, except in intensively managed areas,” Riggio et al. (1) misrepresent our treatment of specific survey sites and raise erroneous objections to our overall statistical approach.
Article
Trophy hunting is widely used in Africa to generate funding for wildlife areas.In 2015, a global media frenzy resulted from the illegal killing of a radio-collared lion, “Cecil,” by a trophy hunter in Zimbabwe. Trophy hunting is con-tentious and much of the media discourse is emotional and polarized, focusingon animal welfare and debating the value...
Article
Full-text available
We compiled all credible repeated lion surveys and present time series data for 47 lion (Panthera leo) populations. We used a Bayesian state space model to estimate growth rate-λ for each population and summed these into three regional sets to provide conservation-relevant estimates of trends since 1990. We found a striking geographical pattern: Af...
Article
Full-text available
The evolutionary history of a species is key for understanding the taxonomy and for the design of effective management strategies for species conservation. The knowledge about the phylogenetic position of the lion (Panthera leo) in West/Central Africa is largely based on mitochondrial markers. Previous studies using mtDNA only have shown this regio...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The African Golden Cat is a forest-dependent species restricted to equatorial Africa, where high deforestation and bushmeat hunting levels are causing substantial reductions in their area of occupancy (AOO). Data on the extent of African Golden Cat AOO loss is unavailable due to a lack of population monitoring. We can infer, however, an approximate...
Article
Full-text available
The PREDICTS project—Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems (www.predicts.org.uk)—has collated from published studies a large, reasonably representative database of comparable samples of biodiversity from multiple sites that differ in the nature or intensity of human impacts relating to land use. We have used t...
Article
Full-text available
The African golden cat C aracal aurata is endemic to tropical Africa. It is one of the world's least‐studied felids and is considered rare in most of its geographic range. The status of the African golden cat in the wild has never been rigorously assessed, but the species is increasingly threatened by habitat degradation, loss and fragmentation, an...
Article
Full-text available
The catchment of the Congo River basin contains an extensive forest-savanna mosaic, which once harbored significant populations of lions (Panthera leo), African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus), and spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta). The mosaic's northern part, stretching across the Republic of Congo and southern Gabon, is today geographically isolated. Un...
Article
Full-text available
First letter: This Letter to the Editor, as well as the companion Letter to the Editor (African Zoology 49(1): 2–4, 2014) and Short communication (African Zoology 47(2): 353–357, October 2012) that it implicates/refers to, have been retracted by the Editors-in-Chief and neither the electronic nor the print version of the short communication or the...
Article
Full-text available
The African lion has declined to <35,000 individuals occupying 25% of its historic range. The situation is most critical for the geographically isolated populations in West Africa, where the species is considered regionally endangered. Elevating their conservation significance, recent molecular studies establish the genetic distinctiveness of West...
Article
Full-text available
The trophy hunting of lions Panthera leo is contentious due to uncertainty concerning conservation impacts and because of highly polarised opinions about the practice. African lions are hunted across at least ∼558,000 km(2), which comprises 27-32% of the lion range in countries where trophy hunting of the species is permitted. Consequently, trophy...
Article
Full-text available
Packer et al. reported that fenced lion populations attain densities closer to carrying capacity than unfenced populations. However, fenced populations are often maintained above carrying capacity, and most are small. Many more lions are conserved per dollar invested in unfenced ecosystems, which avoid the ecological and economic costs of fencing.
Data
The distribution and status of small carnivore species in Gabon have never been comprehensively assessed. We collated data from general wildlife surveys, camera-trap and transect studies and analyses of bushmeat consumption and trade, to map their country-wide occurrence and assess current exploitation levels. Records of Common Slender Mongoose Her...