Article

Effects of Trophy Hunting on Lion and Leopard Populations in Tanzania

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Abstract

Tanzania holds most of the remaining large populations of African lions (Panthera leo) and has extensive areas of leopard habitat (Panthera pardus), and both species are subjected to sizable harvests by sport hunters. As a first step toward establishing sustainable management strategies, we analyzed harvest trends for lions and leopards across Tanzania's 300,000 km(2) of hunting blocks. We summarize lion population trends in protected areas where lion abundance has been directly measured and data on the frequency of lion attacks on humans in high-conflict agricultural areas. We place these findings in context of the rapidly growing human population in rural Tanzania and the concomitant effects of habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict, and cultural practices. Lion harvests declined by 50% across Tanzania between 1996 and 2008, and hunting areas with the highest initial harvests suffered the steepest declines. Although each part of the country is subject to some form of anthropogenic impact from local people, the intensity of trophy hunting was the only significant factor in a statistical analysis of lion harvest trends. Although leopard harvests were more stable, regions outside the Selous Game Reserve with the highest initial leopard harvests again showed the steepest declines. Our quantitative analyses suggest that annual hunting quotas be limited to 0.5 lions and 1.0 leopard/1000 km(2) of hunting area, except hunting blocks in the Selous Game Reserve, where harvests should be limited to 1.0 lion and 3.0 leopards/1000 km(2) .

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... This finding may likely be due to proper quota determination and conservation efforts in the study area. In contrast, in Tanzania, Packer et al. (2010) recorded a decline in the trophy quality of leopards and lions. It was noted that the selective removal of males of the big cats resulted in a more rapid change-over of pride males (Chomba et al. 2014). ...
... Male leopards are more desirable to trophy hunters than females because of their larger size (Bailey 2005). However, probably because of leopard´s illusive behaviour (Packer et al. 2010) the hunting success was not 100% during the present study period in CSSA and this explains why their trophy quality was above the expected SCI minimum score. ...
... We expected leopard density to be highest in the National Park and lower in the community-managed area, despite its comparable habitat, as a result of edge effects (Abade et al., 2018;Balme et al., 2010). We expected lower densities in the miombo woodland sites within the National Park and trophy hunting area due to lower habitat productivity (Frost, 1996), possibly with lower densities in the hunting area as a result of hunting offtake (Packer et al., 2010). Together, our findings provide the first comparison of leopard status across different habitats and land management strategies within a mixed-use landscape in Tanzania, and have important implications for conservation management. ...
... Although there is evidence of some large carnivore populations existing below carrying capacity in trophy hunting areas (Balme et al., 2010(Balme et al., , 2009Loveridge et al., 2016a;Packer et al., 2010), our results suggest that the studied trophy hunting area supports a leopard population comparable to that in similar habitat in an adjacent photographic tourism area. This is likely a result of the substantial management investment received in the Ikiri block of Rungwa Game Reserve over the last four years, particularly in the form of frequent ground and law enforcement patrols, investment in roads and infrastructure, and ranger training support (STEP, 2019). ...
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 Tanzania, via spatially explicit capture-recapture (SECR) modelling of camera trap data from the Ruaha-Rungwa landscape in 2018 and 2019. Population density was highest in highly-productive Acacia-Commiphora habitat in the core tourist area of Ruaha National Park (6.81 ± 1.24 leopards per 100 km^2). The next highest density (4.23 ± 1.02 per 100 km^2) was estimated in similar habitat in a neighbouring community-managed area (Idodi-Pawaga MBOMIPA WMA). Lowest densities were estimated in miombo (Brachystegia-Jubelnardia) woodland habitat, both in a trophy hunting area (Rungwa Game Reserve; 3.36 ± 1.09 per 100 km^2) and inside the National Park (3.23 ± 1.25 per 100 km^2). Population density was highly correlated with prey abundance, suggesting that variation in leopard density may be primarily driven by availability of prey, which likely varies with habitat types and anthropogenic impacts. Anthropogenic mortality may also have a direct influence on leopard in more impacted areas, but further research is required to investigate this. Our findings show that a hunting area with significant protection investment supports a leopard density comparable to similar habitat in a photographic tourism area. We also provide evidence that community-managed areas have the potential to effectively conserve large carnivore populations at relatively high densities, but may be vulnerable to edge effects.
... This finding may likely be due to proper quota determination and conservation efforts in the study area. In contrast, in Tanzania, Packer et al. (2010) recorded a decline in the trophy quality of leopards and lions. It was noted that the selective removal of males of the big cats resulted in a more rapid change-over of pride males (Chomba et al. 2014). ...
... Male leopards are more desirable to trophy hunters than females because of their larger size (Bailey 2005). However, probably because of leopard´s illusive behaviour (Packer et al. 2010) the hunting success was not 100% during the present study period in CSSA and this explains why their trophy quality was above the expected SCI minimum score. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study was based on a temporal analysis of trophy quality trends and hunting effort in Chewore South Safari Area (CSSA), Zimbabwe, for the period 2009-2012. We selected four of the big five species, namely; buffalo (Syncerus caffer), elephant (Loxodonta africana), the leopard (Panthera pardus) and lion (Panthera leo) for analysis. Existing database of 188 trophies from 2009 to 2011 was reviewed and recorded using the Safari Club International (SCI) scoring system. Further, 50 trophies for 2012 were measured and recorded based on the SCI scoring system. Local ecological knowledge on trophy quality and hunting effort in CSSA was obtained through semi-structured questionnaires from 22 conveniently selected professional hunters in 2012. The results indicated no significant change in trophy quality trends of buffalo, leopard and lion (p > 0.05) over the study period. In contrast, there was a significant decline in elephant trophy quality trend over the same period (p < 0.05). The results showed no significant change in hunting effort over the study period for all the four study species (p > 0.05). Furthermore, seventy-two percent (72%, n = 13) of the professional hunters confirmed that elephant population was declining in CSSA and this was likely due to poaching. Professional hunters perceived trophy hunting as a source of financial capital generation for wildlife conservation (61%, n = 11), as well as positively contributing to the local economy (56%, n = 10). It was concluded that hunting has limited negative impact on species trophy quality trends when a sustainable hunting system is consistently followed in CSSA. CSSA management need to continuously monitor trophy hunting, animal populations and employ adaptive management approach to quota setting and species conservation.
... Bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) , for example, are shown to grow smaller horns and lose body weight over time as a reaction to trophy hunting (Hendrick, 2011). While a handful of studies have examined how trophy hunting results in undesirable evolutionary consequences for species such as bighorn sheep (Coltman et al., 2003;Hendrick, 2011), lion and leopards (Packer, Brink, Kissui, Maliti, Kushnir, & Caro, 2011), few have focused on unmanaged poaching and killing. ...
Research
Humans have selectively harvested plants and animals based on particular characteristics for centuries (Klein et al., 2004). While natural agents of evolutionary shifts have long been recognized, humans are emerging as a significant force of change. Unnatural selection is increasingly recognized as an important agent of evolution, sometimes outpacing natural agents as drivers of rapid phenotypic change (Chiyo, Obanda, & Korir, 2015). In fact, evidence shows that the rates of change among harvested populations can exceed natural agents by 300% (Darimont et al., 2009). While scholars have focused extensively on artificial selection, or selective breeding, and our knowledge of human-induced evolution of domesticated plants and animals is quite extensive, human-induced evolution of wild plants and animals has largely been ignored. Phenotype-based selective harvests can have significant consequences for wildlife if they target heritable traits. In this paper, I focus on unmanaged harvest as a type of human-induced evolution that has consequences for our wild flora and fauna. As this paper argues, attention needs to be paid to the process by which these wild plants and animals are removed and how such processes affect that population’s evolutionary path.
... The sustainability of leopard populations therefore depends upon the soundness of the census methods used to estimate population sizes . Trophy Hunting is a selective force (usually targeting prime adult males) and therefore has direct and indirect effects on the demography and population genetics of leopards, possibly altering their ecology (Loveridge et al., 2006;Packer et al., 2010). Although advances in survey techniques have improved accuracy in estimating leopard numbers and modelling of population structures, adopting such is incumbent upon individual properties and is not enforced by the regulatory authority. ...
Thesis
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Determining populations of leopards (Panthera pardus) is important for both their conservation and also that of their prey. Camera-trapping has emerged as a powerful and non-invasive tool for studying carnivores in their natural habitats especially for species that are elusive or occur at low densities such as leopards. This thesis presents the Baited-Camera Trapping (BCT) method of censusing leopards, a Zimbabwean conceived design modification of the conventional unbaited setup. This method has been documented to improve capture rates and provide robust and novel data for leopard surveys in savanna environments. This study used single cameras coupled with bait to survey a population of leopards at Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve (MWR), a privately owned medium-sized property in south-eastern Zimbabwe. The objectives of the study were to: (1) conduct a cost-benefit analysis to determine the optimal density and exposure length of baits for censusing leopards at MWR, (2) develop a technique for estimating body dimensions of leopards from camera trap photographs, (3) determine the influence of competing carnivores on the feeding habits of leopards in a savanna ecosystem, and (4) to review the application of the BCT method in comparison with conventional camera trapping. Data were collected from July 2017 to January 2018 and the CAPTURE software was used for population size analysis and the Statistical Package for Social Scientists were used for cost-benefit analyses. Generalized Linear Mixed Effects Modelling, performed using the R statistical software, was used to compare actual and photograph based body measurement data as well as to analyze the influence of competing predators on feeding duration and resting distances of leopards at bait stations. This study estimated the leopard population at MWR at 61 (61-67) individuals and concludes that using BCT stations at a density of 0.24 cameras km-2 km for 9 days is the optimal and cost-effective sampling effort required to provide reliable population statics in semi-arid savannas. The study established that the type of body measurement and the posture of a leopard in a photograph had a significant influence on the accuracy of image-based measurements. Body length measurements taken from the level back-straight forelimb-parallel tail posture were the most accurate [mean error = 2.0 cm (1.5-2.7 cm)] while head-to-tail and tail length measurements and variations from the level back-straight forelimb-parallel tail posture did not provide sufficient accuracy. The findings also showed that the presence of male leopards at feeding locations was associated with shorter feeding durations while lion presence caused feeding leopards to wait longer from bait sites. The thesis provides the first published record of the BCT method outlining a step-by-step procedure for replication by other researchers and a comparative review of the method with traditional survey approaches. The findings in this thesis underscore the ability of BCT method to investigate multiple leopard population ecology questions which enhances its cost-benefit ratio. Furthermore, the method provides new information which can broaden the scope of research and inform management and policy direction. It is recommended that (i) researchers and managers incorporate cost-benefit analysis in their work as this is essential for informing effective application of effort and resources, (ii) researchers take advantage of the BCT method to collect behaviour and morphological data for species that are less understood such as leopards to maximize on the capital investment, (iii) managed wildlife areas that contain leopards consider the uptake of the BCT techniques as a wide encompassing population monitoring option, and (iv) regulatory authorities that supervise hunting operations such as the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority adopt the BCT technique to enhance their information management portfolios and quota setting for sustainable harvest practises.
... Trophy hunting may occur as part of a legal commercial industry, where individuals (often international tourists) pay a fee to hunt a preferred species, or illegally. Similar to human-wildlife conflict, trophy or recreational hunting can have detrimental impacts on wildlife if offtake levels are unsustainable or if legal hunting encourages illegal hunting (Brink et al., 2016;Packer et al., 2011). It is therefore important to include trophy/recreational hunting and human-wildlife conflict when considering the impacts of hunting on CMS species. ...
... Trophy hunting may occur as part of a legal commercial industry, where individuals (often international tourists) pay a fee to hunt a preferred species, or illegally. Similar to human-wildlife conflict, trophy or recreational hunting can have detrimental impacts on wildlife if offtake levels are unsustainable or if legal hunting encourages illegal hunting (Brink et al., 2016;Packer et al., 2011). It is therefore important to include trophy/recreational hunting and human-wildlife conflict when considering the impacts of hunting on CMS species. ...
Book
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This study looks for the first time at the extent to which terrestrial animals protected by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) are being impacted by wild meat taking, trade and consumption. It contributes to the implementation of a decision adopted by the CMS Conference of the Parties in 2020 (CMS Decision 13.109). We assessed the direct and indirect impacts of wild meat taking, trade and consumption of 105 terrestrial mammal species listed in the CMS Appendices I and II and relevant CMS daughter agreements and initiatives. We first used a systematic review of the published literature, global database searches and the IUCN Red List to determine which CMS species are affected by wild meat hunting. We then reviewed the legislation applicable to the regulation of wild meat hunting and trade and explored the application of hunting legislation using a national case-study example. Finally, we examined the known linkages between zoonotic diseases and wild meat use and trade.
... Critics of the conduct of the African hunting industry indicate that unregulated hunting may drive species' population decline (Packer et al., 2011), or may disrupt animal age-sex structures (Loveridge et al., 2007). Hunting may also lead to "unnatural selection" (Festa-Bianchet & Mysterud, 2018). ...
Article
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Over the past decade, trophy hunting in Africa has seen increased public and scientific interest. Much of that attention has come from outside of Africa, with little emphasis on local views. We circulated an online survey through international networks to explore demographic and regional differences in opinion regards support for African trophy hunting, trophy import bans, and outside funding of conservation estates supported by hunting. We received ∼5700 responses and found that location, demography, and conservation background influenced opinion. African and North American respondents showed (significantly) more support for trophy hunting than respondents from Europe or other areas, as did respondents with conservation backgrounds. Unlike North Americans, Africans supported external subsidies of wildlife areas presently funded by hunting. Many factors affected opinions on African hunting, but respondent location played a major role. Realistic policy on African trophy hunting should thus integrate African perspectives, in particular those of rural communities.
... Influencing lion occupancy in WAP with management decisions can help to minimize risks of human-lion conflict that arise from spatial overlap in both parks and concessions. Across their range, lions reside in national parks that are often abutted by hunting concessions 32,61,62 , and assessing the existence of similar spatial patterns in other protected areas may be important in improving conservation outcomes for the species. ...
Thesis
African lions reside primarily in protected areas, both of which are increasingly threatened by human pressures and subsequent depletion of natural resources and suitable habitat. Management of protected areas as hunting concessions often results in higher revenues and smaller areas compared to national parks, allowing for high quality habitat and stronger regulation of illegal activity. The successful conservation of lions in protected areas where both management types are implemented could depend on the extent to which lions avoid the risks associated with human encounters, which likely depends on distribution of high-quality habitat, water availability and prey resources. We conducted the first camera survey of lions in the W-Arly-Pendjari (WAP) protected area in West Africa, a 26,620-km2 complex which has two primary management types: national parks (NPs) and hunting concessions (HCs). We combined occupancy modeling, which accounts for imperfect detection of lions, and structural equation modeling to disentangle the relative effect sizes (ES) of environmental, ecological, and anthropogenic variables expected to influence lion space use. Lion occupancy (𝜓) did not show a response to management type (𝜓NP = 0.56; 𝜓HC = 0.58), exhibiting no spatial avoidance of hunting concessions. Water availability was higher and habitats were more diverse in hunting concessions, which may negate mortality risks from trophy hunting and higher human occupancy (𝜓NP = 0.49; 𝜓HC = 0.61). Lion occupancy was strongly driven by prey availability (ES = 0.219), which was influenced by edge effects and water availability. Cues of highquality habitat combined with increased human pressures may indicate hunting concessions functioning as ecological traps for lions in WAP. We recommend management interventions (e.g., increasing water availability and patrols near park edges) to provide refuge for lions in national parks by reducing the intersection of lion space use and the risk of human encounters.
... The private sector is said to reap more from trophy hunting fees than local communities ( Nowak et al., 2019 ), which adversely affects wildlife conservation and management of protected areas ( Di Minin et al., 2016a ). The continuing loss of important wildlife species intended for trophy hunting is another major challenge ( Craigie et al., 2010 ), which appears to be one of the key causes of declining lion populations within and outside Tanzania's protected areas ( Packer et al., 2011 ). ...
Article
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The benefits for biodiversity and human wellbeing are debated for many countries. Some communities in rural mountain areas of the world consider trophy hunting as an integrated conservation and development strategy to protect biodiversity and sustain livelihood. This review will provide the evidence that has been gathered to discuss the benefits of CHTP in the HKPL landscape focusing on Pakistan and Tajikistan”. Trophy hunting, which is intensely debated these days, is perhaps confused with the underlying philosophy of community-based trophy hunting programs. This paper seeks to inform these discussions with a fresh perspective on CTHP based on first-hand experience and learning from the high mountain landscapes and communities of Asia - Pakistan and Tajikistan. The article essentially reviews the effectiveness of CTHP model for conserving rare and threatened wildlife populations, protected and conserved areas, and community welfare and economic uplift. Results reveal that CTHP has been instrumental in halting illegal hunting and poaching wildlife and eventually increasing their populations in many important yet isolated habitats while improving community livelihood and local economy. The CTHP forms a vital part of the rural socio-ecological resilience for remote and isolated mountain communities. It has offered economic incentives for an integrated conservation and development paradigm to combat wildlife poaching and illegal trade and diversify livelihoods harness vital biodiversity conservation values. The paper also elaborates on the societal impact of financial flows and their use for improved lives and enterprises. There are however, some significant problems related to trophy hunting programmes, including the lack of accurate information to understand the effect of trophy hunting on herd structure and size, weak policy implementation, lack of transparency and corruption. Regular monitoring of wildlife, understanding population dynamics, appropriate allocation of hunting quotas, hunting revenue, proper evaluation, and careful documentation of CTHP processes and their impacts are urgently required to make CTHP more effective and sustainable.
... On the other hand, evidence shows that unsustainable hunting of lions and leopards in some places has posed (or continues to pose) serious risks to the conservation of these species (Figure 6), calling for policy interventions to make this hunting more sustainable. 20,88 In some contexts (e.g., leopard in South Africa), such policy interventions have been implemented. 90 Predators are also sometimes killed because they prey on species that are the target of trophy hunting, and the proliferation of fences around wildlife ranches can be detrimental to wider conservation efforts. ...
Article
Full-text available
The widespread activity of recreational hunting is proposed as a means of conserving nature and supporting livelihoods. However, recreational hunting-especially trophy hunting-has come under increasing scrutiny based on ethical concerns and the arguments that it can threaten species and fail to contribute meaningfully to local livelihoods. We provide an overview of the peer-reviewed literature on recreational hunting of terrestrial birds and mammals between 1953 and 2020 (>1,000 papers). The most-studied species are large mammals from North America, Europe, and Africa. While there is extensive research on spe-cies' ecology to inform sustainable hunting practices, there is comparably little research on the role of local perceptions and institutions in determining socioeconomic and conservation outcomes. Evidence is lacking to answer the pressing questions of where and how hunting contributes to just and sustainable conservation efforts. We outline an agenda to build this evidence base through research that recognizes diverse social-ecological contexts.
... The most important threats for this species are habitat destruction and fragmentation (Ray et al., 2005), prey decline (Henschel et al., 2011), conflicts with people over livestock predation (Nowak, 1999;Balme et al., 2010), the fur trade (Gavashelishvili and Lukarevsky, 2008), killing (Packer et al., 2011;Athreya et al., 2011;Raza et al., 2012;Farhadinia et al., 2014), hunting (Kissui, 2008) with poisoned carcasses (Croes et al., 2007;Balme et al., 2009) and different traps (Martins and Martins, 2006;Loveridge et al., 2010). Carnivore decline is a global concern especially since leopards are exposed to many anthropogenic threats (Balme et al., 2010). ...
... Extrinsic factors can be as short-lived and localized as a single weather event (Newton, 2006(Newton, , 2007 or can be a long-term trend that acts at the hemispheric level, such as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index (Møller, 2002;van de Pol et al., 2010;Sandvik et al., 2012). Populations also may be limited by inter-specific linkages such as predator-prey interactions (Dowding and Murphy, 2001) or direct human-wildlife associations, especially for game species (Packer et al., 2011). However, the anthropogenic impacts on population trends often are indirect through resource limitation, making it difficult to discern a causal link (Stillman et al., 2001). ...
Article
Identifying the drivers of long-term population change is a key goal of ecological studies. It is complicated by extrinsic and intrinsic factors that may covary with time and/or operate on a time lag. For migratory shorebirds that breed on the barrier islands of eastern North America, populations may be limited by the anthropogenic, climatic, biological environments they encounter throughout the annual cycle. Using three-decades (1989–2017) of breeding monitoring data collected by the National Park Service at two national seashores in North Carolina (Hatteras and Lookout), we examined the potential drivers of nesting piping plover (Charadrius melodus) and American oystercatcher (Haematopus palliates) populations. Hatteras had five times more annual visitors than Lookout, and our modelling revealed a strong negative relationship between the population size of breeding plovers and human activity and a positive relationship with protection efforts aimed at reducing disturbance. Breeding and wintering climatic conditions, population productivity, and nesting habitat availability showed only weak effects. Thus, a decade-long decline in plover numbers at both seashores starting in the mid-90s reversed as the parks' visitor counts decreased and stricter protections from potential disturbance were implemented. However, the two sympatric populations of oystercatchers showed the opposite population trends from each other at the neighboring seashores, increasing only on Lookout after a hurricane improved habitat and subsequently the reproductive output. Our study suggests a strong relationship between the anthropogenic environment and the population trend of a threatened species and, simultaneously, the important role of stochastic events in shaping populations of long-lived shorebird species.
... The species responds to climate change the same as the Asiatic cheetah and experiences a significant reduction in the RCP 8.5 scenario while witnessing a contraction in its highly suitable habitat patches in the RCP 2.6 ( Fig. 2). As the species is mainly threatened by habitat destruction and fragmentation, prey depletion, human-wildlife conflict, unsustainable trophy hunting, poaching for body parts and indiscriminate killing (Datta et al. 2008;Packer et al. 2011;Athreya et al. 2011;Raza et al. 2012;Farhadinia et al. 2014;Swanepoel et al. 2015;Jacobson et al. 2016), range contraction will add additional pressure to existing ones and put the species survival into jeopardy. The range contraction trend stays the same for striped hyena as the species respond negatively to both scenarios and its range will reduce in Iran. ...
Article
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Iran has a diverse range of mammals. Climate change can alter the species' range, leading to expansion or contraction, and affect the IUCN threatened species' distribution. We assessed the effects of climate change on the climatic niche and coverage of the protected areas for 16 threatened mammal species in Iran. The species’ presence-only occurrence records, four predictor variables, two future climate scenarios (Representative Concentration Pathways 2.6 and 8.5), and two time steps (current and 2070) were used to build species distribution models by applying the ensemble approach in BIOMOD2. Species' responses to climate change under current condition showed different results; 8 of the 16 species are likely to gain climatically suitable space, but six species will probably lose climate range by 2070. Persian fallow deer and marbled polecat respond positively to the RCP 2.6 but will experience a range reduction in the RCP 8.5. Coverage of the protected area network will increase in both scenarios for six mammals. The coverage will maximize in RCP 2.6 for four species and decrease RCP 8.5 for another four species and vice versa. According to our model, the coverage will decrease for two species in both future scenarios. The overlap of the protected areas with the distribution pattern showed that in the next 50 years, climate change would negatively affect 60% of Iranian threatened mammals. The current and future distribution range of the species and the designated refugia for climate change can be considered protected areas for conservation plans.
... Human-induced carnivore mortality typically arises from legal hunting (e.g. poorly monitored trophy hunting; Packer et al., 2011, Creel et al., 2016, poaching (e.g. for parts such as meat/skin/bones/teeth/claws etc., Everatt, Kokes and Lopez Pereira 2019), retaliatory or protective killing (i.e. under livestock-carnivore conflict scenarios, Kissui 2008), and incidental killing (e.g. ...
Conference Paper
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As human populations continue to grow and expand into ever decreasing wilderness areas, interactions between humans and wildlife are also likely to increase. Co-existence between people and wildlife has been a part of human history and influenced human culture, diet and settlement patterns; however when these interactions increase in frequency and degree, the potential to shift from co-existence to conflict emerges. Often this then leads to negative population-level consequences for the wildlife. In Sri Lanka, a large widespread human population shares limited space with an impressive biological diversity including the island’s apex predator, the leopard. This study looks at 15 years of data of human-leopard interaction across Sri Lanka with an aim at revealing the causes underling human-leopard incidents and leopard mortality. Human-leopard incidents (N=108) across the country were documented and analysed from a variety of sources. Most (88%) incidents resulted in leopard mortality; regionally the Central Province had the highest overall incidents (34%) revealing the Central Hills to be a hotspot for human-leopard interaction. That direct mortality of leopard was lower in these areas (9.5%) compared to other provinces indicates the existence of different threats to the leopard in differing areas of the country. Indirect killing of leopard in snares meant for bush meat and direct shooting and poisoning of leopard as a retaliatory measure were the main methods of leopard mortality. Other human-leopard incidents included domestic cattle and dog depredation and close proximity encounters with leopards. Three instances of human attack by leopards were documented, all unprovoked. Two reports of human death by leopard were reported; one is unconfirmed as post mortem results are inconclusive as to actual cause of death. This study and its findings of human-leopard incidents across the country reveals that targeted tailor made conservation measures are needed in different regions of the country in order to foster coexistence and reduce further incidents from escalating into a conflict situation.
... Because of increasing poaching incidences in most African countries, substantial investment for resources to combat poaching is inevitable. One of the practical way to finance anti-poaching efforts in game reserves especially those which cannot finance themselves through photographic tourism, regulated trophy hunting can be the main source of funding to support conservation efforts, the amount ploughed back for such activities is still small because the money goes to central government and its allocation always go through the treasurer Several studies favoring anti-hunting schemes insist on the effects of regulated trophy hunting on the populations of the hunted species neglecting what they can contribute to conservation (Packer et al., 2011). This might be true, mainly if trophy hunting is conducted in an uncontrolled manner. ...
... For example, lions (Panthera leo) decreased by 75% (Riggio et al., 2013), cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) dropped by 91% (Durant et al., 2017), and leopard (Panthera pardus) populations declined by 75% (Swanepoel et al., 2015). These declines have been attributed to human related causes such as lawful hunting (Packer et al., 2011), unlawful hunting (Liberg et al., 2012), human conflicts with wildlife (Treves & Karanth, 2003), and road killings (Kramer-Schadt et al., 2004). Wideranging species, including large carnivores that roam outside protected areas have been reported to be particularly vulnerable to different sources of anthropogenic mortalities (Ripple et al., 2014). ...
Article
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Knowledge of local attitudes toward lion conservation and identification of drivers of human conflicts with lions can help inform mitigation measures aimed at promoting the coexistence of humans and lions. We assessed attitudes of local communities toward lions and lion conservation in the Maasai steppe ecosystem of northern Tanzania with the aim of documenting anthropogenic factors driving human-related lion mortalities. Purposively, five villages were surveyed including three from core zones or hotspot areas where people kill lions, and two from control zones where lions are not killed. Attitudes in the zone where people kill lions (lion killing) were more negatively associated with lions and lion conservation than communities in the control zones. Fear for livestock, family, and personal safety were the strongest variables explaining negative attitudes toward lions and lion conservation. To promote coexistence between humans and lions, conservation authorities should invest more on awareness and sensitization programs on conservation of lions.
... This issue was also stressed by the KVO officials who considered that current trophy hunting in the KVO's CCHA was not sustainable, and it was not helping in conservation of wild ungulates. Studies conducted previously have pointed out that proper scientific population censuses are rare [13,46,61]. Efforts must be undertaken to assess and monitor population trends at an appropriate time interval to determine if wildlife populations are declining on account of trophy hunting [46,62,63]. ...
Article
Simple Summary: Trophy hunting and mass tourism were introduced to Khunjerab National Park, northern Pakistan to generate income for the community and help conserve and sustain the ecosystem in the region. These initiatives have provided economic benefits, but only at the cost of other environmental problems, as both trophy hunting and mass tourism have resulted in various ecological issues. Trophy hunting has not been based on scientific population data and has thus not helped increase numbers of wild ungulates or wild carnivores. Although mass tourism has increased enormously in this region, it has damaged the ecosystem through pollution generation and negatively impacted wildlife. We suggest that trophy hunting should be stopped, and mass tourism should be shifted to ecotourism as a sustainable solution to help improve the ecosystem, while generating income for the local community. Further studies are required to investigate ecotourism as a potential mitigation measure for the conservation issues in this region. Abstract: Trophy hunting and mass tourism are the two major interventions designed to provide various socioeconomic and ecological benefits at the local and regional levels. However, these interventions have raised some serious concerns that need to be addressed. This study was conducted in Khunjerab National Park (KNP) with an aim to analyze comparatively the socioeconomic and ecological impacts of trophy hunting and mass tourism over the last three decades within the context of sustainability. Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) with key stakeholders and household interviews were conducted to collect data on trophy hunting and mass tourism, and on local attitudes towards these two interventions in and around KNP. The results revealed that 170 Ibex (Capra sibirica) and 12 Blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur) were hunted in the study area over the past three decades, and trophy hunting was not based on a sustainable harvest level. Trophy hunting on average generated USD 16,272 annual revenue, which was invested in community development. However, trophy hunting has greatly changed the attitudes of local residents towards wildlife: a positive attitude towards the wild ungulates and strongly negative attitude towards wild carnivores. In addition, trophy hunting has reduced the availability of ungulate prey species for Snow leopards (Panthera uncia), and consequently, Snow leopards have increased their predation on domestic livestock. This has, in turn, increased human-snow leopard conflict, as negative attitudes towards carnivores result in retaliatory killing of Snow leopards. Furthermore, according to official record data, the number of tourists to KNP has increased tremendously by 10,437.8%, from 1382 in 1999 to 145,633 in 2018. Mass tourism on average generated USD 33,904 annually and provided opportunities for locals to earn high incomes, but it caused damages to the environment and ecosystem in KNP through pollution generation and negative impacts on wildlife. Considering the limited benefits and significant problems created by trophy hunting and mass tourism, we suggest trophy hunting should be stopped and mass tourism Animals 2020, 10, 597 2 of 20 should be shifted to ecotourism in and around KNP. Ecotourism could mitigate human-Snow leopard conflicts and help conserve the fragile ecosystem, while generating enough revenue incentives for the community to protect biodiversity and compensate for livestock depredation losses to Snow leopards. Our results may have implications for management of trophy hunting and mass tourism in other similar regions that deserve further investigation.
... Human-induced carnivore mortality typically arises from legal hunting (e.g. poorly monitored trophy hunting; Packer et al., 2011, Creel et al., 2016, poaching (e.g. for parts such as meat/skin/bones/teeth/claws etc., Everatt, Kokes and Lopez Pereira 2019), retaliatory or protective killing (i.e. under livestock-carnivore conflict scenarios, Kissui 2008), and incidental killing (e.g. ...
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WILDLANKA is a peer-reviewed international journal which issues four volumes per year. Papers are reviewed by a panel of experts comprised of nationally and internationally renowned scientists. It provides an opportunity to wildlife researchers, scientists, academics, postdoctoral fellows, undergraduate students and other experts to publish their articles online as well as in print. WILDLANKA publishes works from a wide range of fields including Wildlife Conservation, Sustainable Development, Ecology, Biodiversity, Ecotourism, Biotechnology, Economics, Geoinformatics, Social Science, Engineering and Marine etc.
... Human-induced carnivore mortality typically arises from legal hunting (e.g. poorly monitored trophy hunting; Packer et al., 2011, Creel et al., 2016, poaching (e.g. for parts such as meat/skin/bones/teeth/claws etc., Everatt, Kokes and Lopez Pereira 2019), retaliatory or protective killing (i.e. under livestock-carnivore conflict scenarios, Kissui 2008), and incidental killing (e.g. ...
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Large carnivores are vital for effectively functioning ecosystems yet globally their populations are declining, with habitat loss, prey depletion and human persecution the leading causes. Sri Lanka's apex predator, the leopard, numbers < 1000 mature individuals and has lost > 1/3 of its historic range. Ongoing human-induced leopard mortality occurs in Sri Lanka, but its severity, patterns and modes are poorly understood, particularly in the context of the island's civil conflict. Here we use a dataset of recorded human-induced leopard mortality events, divided into two periods-wartime (2001-2009) and postwar (2010-2020)-to investigate their temporal and spatial trends in order to instruct informed, targeted mitigation strategies aimed at ensuring human-leopard coexistence. Overall we recorded 145 individual leopard deaths over 125 incidents with a significant increase in mortality events and a non-significant increase in individual leopard deaths. In the postwar period annual leopard mortality incidents remained stable, albeit at a higher average (8.5/year) than during the conflict (3.6/ year). Most recorded postwar leopard deaths (72%) were caused by wire snares, with the highest proportion of total recorded leopard deaths (55.8%) as well as snaring deaths (77%) from the Central Province. In the Northern province a short-term increase in human-induced leopard mortality was observed immediately postwar , possibly due to resettlement. Although data was imperfect, as it relied on detection and reporting of mortality events, it nevertheless highlights the growing impact of wire snares, particularly in Sri Lanka's Central Highlands, providing a tangible starting point for initiating human-leopard coexistence actions.
... Such instances of non-compliance should be of interest to statutory authorities and conservation organizations, as well as the trophy hunting industry, as it may directly jeopardize the reputation and viability of the industry (Lindsey et al., 2007). Thus, regulation compliance ensures sustainability for both felid populations and the hunting industry (Loveridge et al., 2007;Packer et al., 2011). ...
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Sustainable offtake of any threatened species and objective monitoring thereof relies on data-driven and well-managed harvest quotas and permit compliance. We used web-sourced images of African leopard (Panthera pardus pardus) trophy hunts to determine whether online photographs could assist in monitoring and documenting trophy hunting in Africa. Of 10,000 images examined, 808 (8%) showed leopard trophy hunts and could be contextualized by date and country. From a subset of photos (n = 530), across six countries between 2011 and 2020, we extracted information on the leopards killed and hunter demographics. We found no significant differences in leopard sex, age, or shot wound position between countries, and most trophy leopards were in good physical condition. Most hunters were White (96%) and estimated at over 40 years old (82%), with the proportion of women hunters in younger age classes significantly higher than in older classes. Rifles, bows, and hounds were used in all countries, except Tanzania and Zambia, where rifles were exclusively used. Online images could not be reasonably compared to the CITES trade database, but in South Africa, more than half (57%) of all nationally registered leopard trophy hunts in the last decade (2010-2020) have been posted online. Online images also reveal hunting violations, including non-permitted hunting of female leopards and illegal hounding. Such monitoring methods may become increasingly useful as social media usage grows and provide valuable insight into this multi-million dollar industry.
... In some unprotected areas, there are hunting blocks, areas delineated by wildlife directors for trophy hunting [24]. Hunting activities that are not properly managed, have been reported to pose adverse impacts on lion prides, particularly male coalitions [23,25,26]. Some male coalitions live close to these hunting block areas, which might increase their risk of being hunted. ...
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In landscapes where people and lions coexist, conflicts are common due to livestock predation and threats to human safety. Retaliatory lion killing by humans is often a consequence and is one of the leading causes of lion population declines across Africa. We assessed the effects of retaliatory lion killing on male lion coalitions in the Tarangire-Manyara Ecosystem (TME) using a long-term dataset of lion monitoring for ten lion prides, spanning over a fourteen year-period from 2004–2018. We also interviewed 214 respondents about their attitudes and awareness of the effects of retaliatory killing on lions. We found that male lion coalitions were larger and lasted for a longer tenure period in locations with low risk of retaliatory killing, as well as far away from active hunting blocks. Further, young people (18–35 years old) had a more positive attitude towards lion existence and conservation compared to older age classes. Surprisingly, people with primary or secondary level of education were more likely to having lions killed if they attack livestock compared to people with no formal education, although the former supported lion presence for tourism in protected areas. We conclude that retaliatory killing has a large effect on long-term lion coalition dynamics and, thus, survival. Community awareness on retaliation effect varies widely, and we recommend implementing better education and policy strategies at TME to protect the declining carnivore populations.
... The areas where leopards are protected are patchy, making them valuable source populations (Allen et al. 2020). The presence of competitors such as spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) and lions (Panthera leo) in protected areas might suppress leopard density (Packer et al. 2011), but it was shown that leopards are well adapted to coexist with larger competitors (Stein et al. 2015;Balme et al. 2017a,b). For developing conservation strategies and a metapopulation management plan for the species, it is critical to obtain leopard numbers and population trends. ...
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In Namibia, leopards (Panthera pardus) are widely distributed, used commercially as trophy animals and are often persecuted for perceived or real predation on livestock and valuable game species outside protected areas. Therefore, leopard populations living in protected areas might be important source populations and for maintaining connectivity. Little data on their population sizes and densities are available from the northern part of the country, particularly from protected areas. Here, we estimated leopard densities using a spatial capture-recapture approach in northern Namibia: (i) the Khaudum National Park (KNP) in northeast Namibia with an annual average rainfall of 450 mm and (ii) the Lower Hoanib River (LHR) in northwest Namibia with an annual average rainfall of 25 mm. With an effort of 2430 and 2074 camera trap nights in the KNP and LHR, respectively, 11 adult female and six adult male leopards were identified in the KNP, whilst only one adult female leopard was detected once in the LHR. For the KNP, a maximum likelihood approach (using the package SECR) revealed a density estimate of 2.74 leopards/100 km 2 , whereas a Bayesian approach (using the package SPACECAP) revealed a density estimate of 1.83 leopards/100 km 2. For the LHR, no density estimate could be determined and it is suggested that the leopard density in such an arid environment is low. These are the first leopard density estimates based on camera trap surveys provided for these protected areas and thus of importance for further monitoring programs to understand leopard population dynamics. We discuss our findings with current habitat changes and conservation measures in both study areas.
... The negative effects of people on large carnivores are a factor contributing to their declining numbers. For example, large carnivores are poached for their body parts in Asia (e.g., tigers Panthera tigris- Dinerstein et al. 2007), killed in retaliation for real or perceived threats to livestock in North America and Europe (e.g., wolves Canis lupus- Liberg et al. 2012), and hunted for sport in Africa (e.g., lions Panthera leo -Packer et al. 2009-Packer et al. , 2010. This persecution has extirpated large carnivore species from many ecosystems (Ripple et al. 2014). ...
Article
Populations of large carnivores are declining in many parts of the world due to anthropogenic activity. Some species of large carnivores, however, are able to coexist with people by altering their behavior. Altered behaviors may be challenging to identify in large carnivores because these animals are typically cryptic, nocturnal, live at low densities, and because changes in their behavior may be subtle or emerge slowly over many years. We studied the effects of livestock presence on the movements of one large carnivore, the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta). We fit 22 adult female spotted hyenas with GPS collars to quantify their movements in areas with and without livestock or herders present, in and around a protected area in southwestern Kenya. We investigated anthropogenic, social, and ecological effects on the speed of movement, distances traveled, long-distance movements, and extraterritorial excursions by spotted hyenas. Hyenas living primarily within the protected area, but in the presence of livestock and herders, moved faster, traveled over longer distances, and were more likely to be within their territories than did conspecifics living in areas without livestock and herders. Hyenas of low social rank were more likely than hyenas of high social rank to engage in long-distance travel events, and these were more likely to occur when prey were scarce. The movement patterns of this large African carnivore indicate a flexibility that may allow them to persist in landscapes that are becoming increasingly defined by people.
... As a result, leopards were up-listed to Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List in 2016 and have maintained this status due to increasing anthropogenic threats [3]. Habitat loss and fragmentation, prey-base depletion due to illegal bushmeat poaching, and retaliatory killing as a result of livestock depredation are the main drivers of leopard population decline across their range, while unsustainable trophy hunting and poaching for body parts also pose major threats to leopards [3][4][5][6][7]. ...
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Globally, leopards are the most widespread large felid. However, mounting anthropogenic threats are rapidly reducing viable leopard populations and their range. Despite the clear pressures facing this species, there is a dearth of robust and reliable population and density estimates for leopards across their range, which is particularly important in landscapes that consist of protected and non-protected areas. We conducted a camera trapping survey between 2017 and 2018 in the Western Cape, South Africa to estimate the occupancy, den- sity, and population size of a leopard population. Leopards were recorded at 95% of camera trapping sites, which resulted in a high occupancy that showed no significant variation between seasons, habitat types, or along an altitudinal gradient. Our results indicated a low leopard density in the study area, with an estimated 1.53 leopards/100 km2 in summer and 1.62 leopards/100 km2 in winter. Mean leopard population size was therefore estimated at 107 and 113 individuals in the winter and summer respectively. Leopard activity centres for female ranges were centred in the core study area and could be predicted with good cer- tainty, while males appeared to move out of the study area during winter which resulted in a higher uncertainty in locations of activity centres. Interestingly, livestock depredation events in the surrounding farmlands were significantly higher in winter, which coincides with male leopards moving outside the core protected area into the surrounding farmlands. To reduce livestock losses and retaliatory leopard killings, we suggest that human-carnivore conflict mitigation measures be intensely monitored during the winter months in the study area. We also suggest that future leopard conservation efforts should focus on privately-owned land as these non-protected areas contain the majority of the remaining suitable leopard habitat and may provide important dispersal corridors and buffer zones on which the long-term sus- tainability of leopard populations depends.
... This is in part because of the importance of forests, wildlife tourism, expatriate hunting, and other commodities to the Tanzanian economy. Public debates have emerged when scientists and iNGOs report issues that do not meet government approval, or publish results (Packer et al., 2011) or controversies (Dobson et al., 2010) without necessarily giving the government an opportunity to provide clarifications in advance. Media-heated debates around lion hunting and trophy hunting, in general, have been another such flashpoint. ...
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Critiques of parachute science argue for closer collaborations among local and international scientists. Here, building on such a collaboration, we highlight further challenges when outsiders, typically working through international nongovernmental organizations, fail to respect both the governance framework within which they are working and the realities on the ground. Specifically, we emphasize the importance of observing governance structures, maintaining transparency, and responding flexibly to national and regional priorities (“looking up”), as well as stressing the need to keep a close focus on local cultural context when designing interventions such as educational programs (“looking down”). Addressing the shortcomings for conservation practice contingent on parachute science interventions requires nimble, creative, and respectful actions, which at least in the context of Tanzania, we all still struggle to put into action.
... Human-induced carnivore mortality typically arises from legal hunting (e.g. poorly monitored trophy hunting; Packer et al., 2011, Creel et al., 2016, poaching (e.g. for parts such as meat/skin/bones/teeth/claws etc., Everatt, Kokes and Lopez Pereira 2019), retaliatory or protective killing (i.e. under livestock-carnivore conflict scenarios, Kissui 2008), and incidental killing (e.g. ...
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Many coastal lagoons suffer multiple pressures from human activities that threaten their biological and ecological functionality. More specifically, heavy metal (HM) pollution has become one of the top threats that reduces sediment and water quality of coastal lagoons. Over the past decades, many scientific approaches have been made to reduce the impacts of HMs. This study was, therefore, aimed to investigate the heavy metal uptake (As, Cd, Cr, Hg and Pb) of Salvinia molesta D.S. Mitchell and Eichhornia crassipes Mart. Solms. which are common in desalinated coastal lagoons and the Kalametiya Lagoon on the southern coast of Sri Lanka was subjected for the investigation. Salinity profile of the lagoon was constructed by using Arc GIS 10.3 software. Eighteen (18) plant samples from each species i.e. 36 plant samples in total, were sampled randomly covering the three major regions, near inlet, middle region and near outlet. The oven-dried plant samples were acid digested for HM analysis and ICP-MS was used for HM quantification. Spatial distribution of lagoon salinity shows a great disparity; average salinity was 0 psu at the lagoon inlet and was 5±3 psu near to the lagoon outlet during the study period. The salinity of the lagoon ranges from 0 – 8 psu and the studied floating plants are dispersed in every part of the lagoon. Among the studied heavy metals, Cr (0.962±0.089 ppb) and Pb (0.106±0.017 ppb) were comparatively higher in both S. molesta and E. crassipes and the rest, As, Cd and Hg were below 0.050 ppb. Among these two floating plants, E. crassipes was good at up taking the major heavy metals. However, the HM contents in the studied aquatic plants were less than the Threshold Effective Level (TEL). These results reflect the potential of these aquatic plants to be used in phytoremediation process which is useful to a greater extent in wetland management. However, periodic removal of these species is highly emphasized even if those are used in phytoremediation.
... Large felids, which in this review we define as apex predators belonging to the genus Panthera, and other large-sized cats (each with a mass of >25 kg) are one such emblematic group of wildlife. Large felids generate substantial revenue globally via ecotourism (e.g., jaguar viewing in Brazil's Pantanal contributes ∼7 million USD annually, Tortato et al., 2017), but they are often killed in human-wildlife conflicts mainly in response to livestockraiding (Tumenta et al., 2010) and are also exposed to overharvest (Packer et al., 2011), and habitat contraction (Joshi et al., 2016). Resultantly, most large felids are declining (Packer et al., 2013;Donnelly, 2020). ...
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Large felids represent some of the most threatened large mammals on Earth, critical for both tourism economies and ecosystem function. Most populations are in a state of decline, and their monitoring and enumeration is therefore critical for conservation. This typically rests on the accurate identification of individuals within their populations. We review the most common and current survey methods used in individual identification studies of large felid ecology (body mass > 25 kg). Remote camera trap photography is the most extensively used method to identify leopards, snow leopards, jaguars, tigers, and cheetahs which feature conspicuous and easily identifiable coat patterning. Direct photographic surveys and genetic sampling are commonly used for species that do not feature easily identifiable coat patterning such as lions. We also discuss the accompanying challenges encountered in several field studies, best practices that can help increase the precision and accuracy of identification and provide generalised ratings for the common survey methods used for individual identification.
... Interactions with humans, including habitat loss and degradation (Jacobson et al. 2016;Stein et al. 2020), prey base depletion (Datta et al. 2008;Gray and Prum 2012), conflicts over livestock (Kissui 2008;Athreya et al. 2011) and unsustainable hunting practices (Packer et al. 2009;Gray and Prum 2012) are a leading cause of mortality and population declines for leopards. Leopard populations can also be suppressed by dominant carnivores, as documented in Asia for tigers (Panthera tigris) (Harihar et al. 2011), and suggested in Africa for African lions (Panthera leo), and spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) (Packer et al. 2011). Besides interference competition, one of the possible mechanism of top-down suppression could be connected with kleptoparasitism, which was shown to reduce reproductive success in African leopards (Balme et al. 2017a). ...
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Large carnivore conservation is important for ecosystem integrity and understanding drivers of their abundance is essential to guide conservation efforts. Leopard (Panthera pardus) populations are in a general state of decline, although local studies demonstrated large variation in their population trends and density estimates vary widely across their range. We used spatially-explicit capture-recapture models for unmarked populations with camera trap data from a citizen science project to estimate previously-unknown leopard population densities in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, and determine potential biological drivers of their abundance and distribution. We estimated leopard densities, at 5.41 (95% CrI = 2.23–9.26) and 5.72 (95% CrI = 2.44–9.55) individuals/100 km2, in the dry and wet season, respectively, which confirmed Serengeti National Park as one of the strongholds of this species in Africa. In contrast to abundance estimates, we found that drivers of leopard abundance and distribution varied among the dry and wet seasons, and were primarily affected by interactions with other larger carnivores and cover. The underlying driver of leopard distribution may be the dynamic prey availability which shifts between seasons, leading to an avoidance of dominant carnivores when prey availability is low in the dry season but an association with dominant carnivores when prey availability is high in the wet season. As efforts to conserve large carnivore populations increase worldwide, our results highlight the benefits of using data from citizen science projects, including large camera-trapping surveys, to estimate local carnivore abundances. Using a Bayesian framework allows of estimation of population density, but it is also important to understand the factors that dictate their distribution across the year to inform conservation efforts.
... While carnivores are probably the most common target for such poisoning, a wide range of species are actually in the cross-hairs (e.g. poisoning against crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus), hippopotami (Hippopotamus amphibius), warthogs (Phacochoerus africanus), quelea birds (Quelea sp.): Thomsett 1987, Keith & Bruggers 1998, Otieno et al. 2010, Packer et al. 2011. ...
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The Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus is a globally endangered species that is experiencing rapid population declines throughout most of its range. Conservation of Egyptian Vultures in Africa is globally important because it holds a resident population of 1 000-2 000 breeding pairs, harbours a significant but unknown number of Eurasian migrants during the boreal winter, and many non-adult Egyptian Vultures reared in Eurasia dwell in Africa until they mature. Africa comprises approximately half of the area of the global range of the species. Once considered common and widespread in many parts of Africa, Egyptian Vulture is now one of the vulture species that is most threatened with extinction. Egyptian Vulture is considered extinct as a breeding species in Southern Africa, and continuous population declines have been reported from most of its African range, resulting in a population reduction of perhaps 75%. Despite these declines, there is an apparent lack of systematic observations, and its current status in many African countries is unknown. Furthermore, little is known about the magnitude of the various threats and their impact on resident and wintering Egyptian Vultures. Data-deficiency hinders conservation efforts across the continent. We conducted an extensive review of published and unpublished information on the resident Egyptian Vulture populations in Africa, in an attempt to systemize the available knowledge of the species' historic and current occurrence on a country-by country basis and identify the threats it faces. Information was found from 39 countries; no records of Egyptian Vultures were found in 16 other countries. In 12 countries where Egyptian Vultures have been observed, breeding has never been confirmed, and observations most likely refer to vagrants or wintering individuals. The Horn of Africa appears to be a relative stronghold, but there too, losses almost certainly have occurred. Poisoning, electrocution and direct killing for belief-based practices are considered the main mortality factors, and are hampering the species' recovery. The review highlights the dire status of Egyptian Vultures in Africa, and calls for the urgent implementation of various large-scale conservation measures that will combat threats, secure the survival of the species on the continent, and make Africa safer for migrants coming from Eurasia.
... This is because ascribing population changes to particular ecological and social drivers demands intensive research on prey populations, disease, and rainfall, as well as on anthropogenic drivers, including habitat fragmentation and different forms of exploitation acting simultaneously, and even the best studies (e.g., Blackburn et al. 2016) rely in part on inferences. With respect to the current case, lions are killed by expatriate hunters (Packer et al. 2011, Nelson et al. 2013 in five hunting blocks that surround KNP (Caro 2008), but there is no accurate picture yet of the relative importance of illegal and legal hunting of lions in Tanzania. Obtaining lion legal offtake records from local and central government is often difficult (Riggio et al. 2016), and, coupled with a reticence about conducting lion surveys nationally, the overall significance of changes in local hunting pressure are hard to assess. ...
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African lions are a significant threat to pastoralists, triggering both retaliatory and nonretaliatory killings that represent a high-profile example of human–wildlife conflict. In the present article, we report on a grassroots campaign to reduce such conflict by shifting agropastoralists’ attitudes toward lion killing and the central role of bylaws in its apparent success. Insofar as all of East Africa's principal protected areas still harboring lions are surrounded by pastoralist populations, the vast majority of which persecute lions, this novel strategy is of considerable wide-scale and practical significance. We report on an estimated 59%–69% reduction in the number of lions killed since the implementation of bylaws and use our experiences to highlight the need for fresh dialog among project managers, conservation organizations, and their funders in crafting appropriate conservation success metrics. In the context of human–wildlife conflict, changes in peoples’ norms and attitudes are of greater significance over the long term than simplistic tabulations of the number of individuals saved.
... In Africa, the majority of threats are related to anthropogenic causes including habitat loss, poaching, humanwildlife conflict (HWC), and poorly-regulated trophy hunting (Dickman, 2010;Riggio et al., 2012;Lindsey et al., 2013;Bauer et al., 2016;Jacobson et al., 2016;Wolf and Ripple, 2016;Loveridge et al., 2020). While some topics such as trophy hunting of lions Panthera leo and leopards Panthera pardus, have garnered considerable attention (Loveridge et al., 2007;Packer et al., 2010;Rosenblatt et al., 2014;Creel et al., 2016), fewer studies have attempted to quantify carnivore mortality or injury attributable to other anthropogenic causes, or the effectiveness of programs designed to alleviate anthropogenic threats. Here, we focus on the potential impact on lions and leopards of two human endeavors, wire-snares used both for bush-meat poaching and set as a means of carnivore control (hereafter snaring) and the use of shotguns firing buckshot (a collective term for ammunition consisting of small, spherical metal pellets) to drive off or kill unwelcome predators (a type of HWC). ...
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The impact of snaring and human-wildlife conflict (HWC) on large carnivore populations is of growing concern, and yet few empirical data are available. Mortality is the metric most often used, but non-lethal injuries that impact fitness are also important threats. However, because non-lethal injuries to wild carnivores are difficult to detect, they have received little study. Using straightforward forensic examination of the skulls of trophy-hunted lions and leopards from Luangwa Valley (LV) and Greater Kafue Ecosystem (GKE), Zambia, we identified non-lethal injuries consisting of snare damage to teeth and shotgun pellets in skulls. Wire snare entanglement can cause permanent, diagnostic damage to carnivore teeth when individuals bite and pull on the wire. Shotguns are used by poachers, as well as during HWCs to drive off carnivores perceived as threats. Carnivores struck by shotgun pellets can suffer non-lethal, but potentially toxic injuries such as pellets embedded in their skulls. Because poaching and HWC are generally more prevalent near human settlements, we predicted a higher incidence of anthropogenic injuries to carnivores in Luangwa where the human population is larger and more concentrated along protected area edges than Kafue. Contrary to expectation, anthropogenic injuries were more prevalent among lions and leopards in Kafue than Luangwa. Notably, definitive evidence of snare entanglement greatly surpassed previous estimates for these regions. Overall, 37% (41 in 112) of adult male lions (29% in Luangwa, 45% in Kafue) and 22% (10 in 45) of adult male leopards (17% in Luangwa, 26% in Kafue) examined had survived being snared at some point in their lifetime. Among adult male lions, 27% (30 in 112) had old shotgun pellet injuries to their skulls. Our procedure of forensic examination of carnivore skulls and teeth, some of which can be applied to live-captured animals, allows for improved detection of cryptic, non-lethal anthropogenic injuries. Further, our methods represent a consistent and economical way to track changes in the frequency of such injuries over time and between regions, thereby providing a direct measure of the effectiveness of conservation programs that seek to reduce poaching and HWC.
... elephants and whales), removing older individuals with usually higher trophy values may cause severe population declines due to the loss of social knowledge, which is necessary for survival . Moreover, Packer et al. (2011) showed that in rural Tanzania, lion and leopard populations have higher rates of decline in areas with trophy hunting compared to those without. In the case of lions, there have been concerns about increasing infanticides and population decline due to replacements of the dominant males caused by selective hunting (Kiffner, 2008;Packer et al., 2009;Whitman et al., 2004). ...
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1. Ethical concerns are at the heart of the ongoing debate on trophy hunting; however, so far, most studies have addressed the issue from a single ethical perspective. These studies, approaching the subject from different ethical perspectives, have reached different conclusions. For instance, those who support trophy hunting as a conservation strategy usually adopt a utilitarian perspective, while those who adopt a deontological perspective usually oppose it. 2. The analysis presented in this paper challenges the ethical justification of trophy hunting based on a utilitarian perspective, and it also suggests that trophy hunting is problematic from the perspectives of both deontology and virtue theory. 3. This paper supports a version of Bryan Norton's ‘convergence hypothesis’ (Norton, 1991). Although holism and anthropocentrism in environmental ethics are usually presented as fundamentally opposed views, Norton argued that their conclusions for policy converge, at least when a sufficiently broad and long-range view of human interests are considered. 4. Analogously, this paper proposes that, regarding trophy hunting, the implications of three major traditional perspectives in ethics (i.e. utilitarianism, deontology and virtue theory) may converge in opposition to the practice of trophy hunting. 5. The final section of this paper recommends some ways authorities and policymakers can address these ethical concerns and presents a view of the future.
... Some conservationists argue in favour of the potential for income generation and use of marginal land through hunting (Dickman, Cooney, Johnson, Louis, & Roe, 2019;Lindsey, Roulet, & Romanach, 2007). While other conservationists indicate that funds do not always go (Nelson, Lindsey, & Balme, 2013) and point out the potential for loss of genetic diversity and localised extinction events (Packer et al., 2011). Trophy hunting alone will not fund Africa's vast conservation areas, and the debate provides a distraction from the main question of how these will be financed in the future (Lindsey, Balme, Funston, Henschel, & Hunter, 2016). ...
Article
African elephant populations are under substantial anthropogenic pressure but these are not spatially homogenous. Elephant densities are high in parts of southern Africa, leading to conflict with human populations. Conservationists working to mitigate impacts of human-elephant conflict (HEC) will turn to mechanisms or incentives to achieve this, mostly financial (such as compensation, or income generation through tourism). Little is known about the attitudes of stakeholders' (such as farmers) toward financial incentives used to mitigate conflict. Here we carried out a content analysis of stakeholder evaluative expression, or valence, using reports from the southern African news media. We sourced 428 separate news articles over the past ten years, and quantitatively assessed stakeholder valence on the financial mechanisms used to mitigate human-elephant conflict. We found that stakeholder attitudes or valence differed across countries and that stakeholders were generally positive, even with regard to controversial mechanisms such as trophy hunting. Our work has some implication for conservation policy.
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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 within them: livestock depredation leading to retaliatory killing of lions, and bushmeat poaching leading to prey depletion. Our data do not allow determination of whether any specific threat drives declines faster than others. Of 20 local extirpations, most were associated with armed conflicts as a driver of proximate threats. We discuss the prevalence and severity of proximate threats and their drivers, to identify priorities for more effective conservation of lions, other carnivores and their prey.
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Widespread conversion of the biodiversity rich habitats into land for cultivation and human habitation has resulted in extensive habitat loss for wildlife including leopard. In order to prioritize investments and assess conservation intervention and effectiveness reliable estimates of population density are required. We carried out camera-trapping and line-transect surveys to estimate the predator and prey densities in moist-temperate forest of Dachigam National Park, north-western Himalaya. Density estimate for leopard (Panthera pardus) obtained from programme CAPTURE was 2.8 ± SE 1.18/100 km2 and the SECR density obtained from software SPACECAP was 0.744 ± SE 0.18/100 km2. Density estimate obtained using software DISTANCE for the two principal prey species was 5.11 ± 0.51/km2 and 16.32 ± 1.87/km2 for hangul (Cervus hanglu ssp. hanglu) and langur (Semnopithecus ajax), respectively. The leopard density estimates, which are a first record from the study area, turned out to be the lowest in the country. The low densities of prey represent an alarming status of the species as well as of forest ecosystems of the study area. Our baseline estimates for the leopard and prey species will help future research, conservation and management strategies.
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Some ecologists suggest that trophy hunting (e.g. harvesting males with a desirable trait above a certain size) can lead to rapid phenotypic change, which has led to an ongoing discussion about evolutionary consequences of trophy hunting. Claims of rapid evolution come from the statistical analyses of data, with no examination of whether these results are theoretically plausible. We constructed simple quantitative genetic models to explore how a range of hunting scenarios affects the evolution of a trophy such as horn length. We show that trophy hunting does lead to trophy evolution defined as change in the mean breeding value of the trait. However, the fastest rates of phenotypic change attributable to trophy hunting via evolution that are theoretically possible under standard assumptions of quantitative genetics are 1 to 2 orders of magnitude slower than the fastest rates reported from statistical analyses. Our work suggests a re-evaluation of the likely evolutionary consequences of trophy hunting would be appropriate when setting policy. Our work does not consider the ethical or ecological consequences of trophy hunting.
Article
Large carnivores are experiencing range contraction and population declines globally. Prey depletion due to illegal offtake is considered a major contributor, but the effects of prey depletion on large carnivore demography are rarely tested. We measured African lion density and tested the factors that affect survival using mark‐recapture models fit to six years of data from known individuals in Kafue National Park (KNP), Zambia. KNP is affected by prey depletion, particularly for large herbivores that were preferred prey for KNP lions a half‐century ago. This provides a unique opportunity to test whether variables that explain local prey density also affect lion survival. Average lion density within our study area was 3.43 individuals per 100 km2 (95% CI: 2.79 – 4.23), which was much lower than lion density reported for another miombo ecosystem with similar vegetation structure and rainfall that was less affected by prey depletion. Despite this, comparison to other lion populations showed that age‐ and sex‐specific survival rates for KNP lions were generally good, and factors known to correlate with local prey density had small effects on lion survival. In contrast, recruitment of cubs was poor and average pride size was small. In particular, the proportion of the population comprised of 2nd year cubs was low, indicating that few cubs are recruited into the sub adult age class. Our findings suggest that low recruitment might be a better signal of low prey density than survival. Thus, describing a lion population’s age structure in addition to average pride size may be a simple and effective method of initially evaluating whether a lion population is affected by prey depletion. These dynamics should be evaluated for other lion populations and other large carnivore species. Increased resource protection and reducing the underlying drivers of prey depletion are urgent conservation needs for lions and other large carnivores as their conservation is increasingly threatened by range contraction and population declines.
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Leopards (Panthera pardus) are in range-wide decline, and many populations are highly threatened. Prey depletion is a major cause of global carnivore declines, but the response of leopard survival and density to this threat is unclear: by reducing the density of dominant competitors (lions) prey depletion could create both costs and benefits for subordinate competitors. We used capture-recapture models fit to data from a 7-year camera trapping study in Kafue National Park, Zambia to obtain baseline estimates of leopard population density and sex-specific apparent survival rates. Kafue is affected by prey depletion, and densities of large herbivores preferred by lions have declined more than the densities of smaller herbivores preferred by leopards. Lion density is consequently low. Estimates of leopard density were comparable to ecosystems with more intensive protection and favorable prey densities. However, our study site was located in an area with good ecological conditions and high levels of protection relative to other portions of the ecosystem, so extrapolating our estimates across the park or into adjacent Game Management Areas would not be valid. Our results show that leopard density and survival within north-central Kafue remain good despite prey depletion, perhaps because (1) prey depletion has had weaker effects on preferred leopard prey, when compared to larger prey preferred by lions, and (2) the density of dominant competitors (lions), is consequently low. Our results show that the effects of prey depletion can be more complex than uniform decline of all large carnivore species, and warrant further investigation.
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Globally, leopards are the most widespread large felid. However, mounting anthropogenic threats are rapidly reducing viable leopard populations and their range. Despite the clear pressures facing this species, there is a dearth of robust and reliable population and density estimates for leopards across their range, which is particularly important in landscapes that consist of protected and non-protected areas. We conducted a camera trapping survey between 2017 and 2018 in the Western Cape, South Africa to estimate the occupancy, density, and population size of a leopard population. Leopards were recorded at 95% of camera trapping sites, which resulted in a high occupancy that showed no significant variation between seasons, habitat types, or along an altitudinal gradient. Our results indicated a low leopard density in the study area, with an estimated 1.53 leopards/100 km 2 in summer and 1.62 leopards/100 km 2 in winter. Mean leopard population size was therefore estimated at 107 and 113 individuals in the winter and summer respectively. Leopard activity centres for female ranges were centred in the core study area and could be predicted with good certainty, while males appeared to move out of the study area during winter which resulted in a higher uncertainty in locations of activity centres. Interestingly, livestock depredation events in the surrounding farmlands were significantly higher in winter, which coincides with male leopards moving outside the core protected area into the surrounding farmlands. To reduce livestock losses and retaliatory leopard killings, we suggest that human-carnivore conflict mitigation measures be intensely monitored during the winter months in the study area. We also suggest that future leopard conservation efforts should focus on privately-owned land as these non-protected areas contain the majority of the remaining suitable leopard habitat and may provide important dispersal corridors and buffer zones on which the long-term sustainability of leopard populations depends.
Article
Large carnivore populations are in decline across the globe due to the destruction of their natural habitat and targeted persecution by the human species. Africa is home to one of the last remaining intact guilds of terrestrial mega-carnivore taxa and includes species that occupy a unique role in ecosystem function and in human evolutionary history. The rapid disappearance of large carnivores from the African landscape is therefore particularly alarming and several species are predicted to soon be extirpated outside of protected areas. Developing solutions addressing the drivers of decline are complex due to Africa's rapid human population growth and land use patterns, cultural and traditional values among rural communities, and regulations governing lethal control programs and the trophy hunting industry. There is also a critical need to consider the intrinsic value of the carnivore guild in the discourse as having a value beyond that which benefits humans. Lessons can be learned from a few programs that combine good governance and regulation, effective law enforcement, strong community participation and sustainable funding mechanisms to conserve carnivores at landscape scales. Integrating these criteria into a workable model and employing an evidence-based and adaptive approach is central to implementing long-term solutions for carnivore-human coexistence. Africa can become a global leader in the conservation of biodiversity by demonstrating resilience, collaboration and ingenuity to reverse the current trend, and restore and protect these charismatic carnivore species for the benefit of the planet as a whole.
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In 2020, a Special Issue entitled Rural Development: Strategies, Good Practices and Opportunitieswas launched, in which 16 papers were published. The aim of this monograph was to study this problem with contributions in which different initiatives or projects are presented to reduce the demographic, economic and social imbalances between rural and urban areas. On the other hand, some studies highlighted the weaknesses that certain projects and programmes are having in achieving the same objectives. The papers presented were very diverse and provided cases in a wide variety of territories including European, American, and Asian. The different strategies presented focused on achieving rural development through the promotion of activities complementary to agriculture, such as rural tourism, the revaluation of natural heritage, the promotion of agroecological products, the industrial promotion of rural areas, the introduction of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and Internet to improve their communications and teleworking, the design of sustainable housing for youngers and new settlers, etc. This book serves as a reference to showcase current papers that address more or less successfully sustainable rural development strategies. It is aimed at researchers from multiple and different fields such as geography, earth sciences, political science, economics, econometrics, econometrics, and other fields of study.
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Natural landscapes are increasingly fragmented due to human activity. This contributes to isolation and inadequate gene flow among wildlife populations. These threats intensify where populations are already low, and gene flow is compromised. Ensuring habitat connectivity despite transformed landscapes can mitigate these risks. Leopards are associated with high levels of biodiversity and are the last widely occurring, free-roaming apex predator in South Africa. Although highly adaptable, leopard survival is reduced by human-caused mortality and habitat destruction. We aimed to assess the connectivity of leopard habitat in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape, South Africa. We predicted leopard habitat by correlating GPS data from 31 leopards to environmental features that included human-associated and natural landscapes. We used circuit theory to delineate corridors linking known leopard populations. Finally, using camera traps, we tested whether five predicted corridors were used by leopards. Leopard habitat was strongly correlated to moderate slopes and areas of natural land-cover and plantations, highlighting mountainous areas as important habitat with high connectivity probability. While most habitat patches showed some level of connectivity, leopards avoided highly transformed landscapes, potentially isolating some populations. Where corridors are not functional, active conservation measures for species connectivity becomes important. Full open source paper access: https://www.mdpi.com/2673-7159/2/1/9/pdf
Article
Widespread distribution of livestock in the natural habitats of large carnivores may negatively impact carnivore populations by reducing wild prey availability and increasing human‐carnivore conflicts. In this study, we used camera‐trapping data collected in the temperate forests of the Taihang Mountains in North China during 2016–2019 to examine whether and how free‐ranging cattle affected habitat use and diel activity patterns of the endangered North Chinese leopard (Panthera pardus japonensis) and its two wild prey species, Siberian roe deer (Capreolus pygargus) and wild boar (Sus scrofa). Residents were also interviewed to record livestock depredation events by leopards during 2015–2019. We found that roe deer spatially avoided sites frequented by cattle, but wild boar did not. In the growing seasons, leopards shared habitats with cattle and tended to increase their diurnal activities where cattle were present. All three study species exhibited fine‐scale spatial‐temporal segregation to cattle. Leopards selectively preyed on calves over adult cattle and livestock depredation frequency was positively correlated with the detection rates of cattle and wild prey, but not that of leopard. These findings not only show that through behavioral adaption large carnivores and their ungulate prey may persist under livestock disturbance, but also highlight how important proper livestock management is for conserving North Chinese leopards in this region. To enhance livestock management and mitigate human‐leopard conflicts, we recommend specific actions, such as better guarding of free‐ranging cattle or adoption of a captive farming system. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
Article
Human exploitation of wildlife is driving some species to severe population decline but, few studies examine the combined effect of hunting, environmental variability and demographic traits on population dynamics of hunted species, making it difficult to design sustainable hunting practices. In this study forty-five model scenarios defined by varying levels of hunting, female breeding and mortality rates, were used under Vortex population viability modelling program to assess performance of impala and wildebeest populations and to explore the management options to improve their population persistence. The resident impala population was predicted to suffer severe decline under most hunting scenarios when >2% per year of its population is killed, resulting in local population extinction within 15 years. In contrast, the wildebeest population did not decline at 5% current hunting rates due perhaps to its migratory behaviour that buffers the hunting impact but could go extinct within just 40 years when hunting rate in increased. Further, <10% environmental variability associated with the female breeding and mortality rates had considerable impacts on the population change and size under most hunting scenarios. Improving habitats and reducing hunting could improve female breeding rates thus ensuring the long-term survival of the ungulates in the Simanjiro plains, Tanzania.
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 significant land use changes. We employed occupancy modelling to investigate habitat use of an intact eastern African large carnivore guild across the 45,000 km2 Ruaha-Rungwa landscape, in south-central Tanzania. We determined the relative impact of biotic, anthropogenic, and management factors on five large carnivore species, at two biologically meaningful scales. We also specifically tested the effect of a novel trend of trophy hunting area abandonment on large carnivore occurrence. Our results reveal contrasting habitat use patterns: lion were found to be particularly vulnerable to illegal human activity, while African wild dog were instead limited by biotic features, avoiding areas of high sympatric predator density and using less-productive habitats. Spotted hyaena and leopard were able to persist in more disturbed areas, and across habitat types. There was no evidence of large carnivore occurrence being impacted by whether an area was used for photographic or trophy hunting tourism, with regular law enforcement being instead more important. All species fared better in actively managed hunting areas compared to those that had been abandoned by operators. Overall, our findings highlight the divergent habitat requirements within large carnivore guilds, and the importance of adopting an integrated approach to large carnivore conservation planning in modern systems. We also identified a novel threat to African conservation areas, in the form of decreased management investments associated with the abandonment of trophy hunting areas, and provide the first assessment of this significant land management change on a large carnivore population. Article impact statement: Habitat degradation associated with ongoing hunting area abandonment is shown to be a novel threat to large African carnivore populations. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Article
Some hunter satisfaction surveys have been based on customer satisfaction research (importance-performance analysis, importance-grid analysis, penalty-reward-contrast analysis). This article applied a similar methodology on European hunting tourists. The goal was to identify determinants of hunting tourists’ satisfaction and specific elements of the hunting experience that influence overall satisfaction. Results suggested that “opportunity to see” and “to shoot game” most affected hunter satisfaction in Serbia. Variety of game species, large population size, and health of game populations were significant determinants of hunter tourists’ satisfaction, along with trophy value of game. Accommodation elements (comfort, ambiance, arrangement, equipment of hunting lodge) and additional tourist offerings (visiting nearest tourist sites) were not important for overall satisfaction.
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Leopards have considerable value as a trophy hunting species in South Africa and the national CITES quota was recently doubled from 75 to 150 leopard hunts per year. This decision was taken despite a lack of reliable data on regional leopard population abundance and with little understanding of the possible impacts of increased harvesting on the species. In KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), we showed that an uneven distribution of hunting effort contributed towards high mortality rates and low recruitment in a nominally protected leopard population. Against this backdrop we developed a revised protocol for the trophy hunting of leopards in KZN based on five key recommendations: (1) limiting the number of CITES tags allocated in KZN to five each year, (2) ensuring a more even distribution of permits across the province, (3) allocating applications for leopard hunts to individual properties rather than hunting outfitters, (4) linking the likelihood of obtaining a tag to the size of the property, and (5) restricting the trophy hunting of leopards to adult males. This protocol and, as such, has potential to act as a model for the hunting of the species where currently permitted or proposed across its range.
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The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA), Tanzania, is a multiple land-use area where Maasai pastoralists co-exist with large migratory herbivores and associated carnivores. Maasai retaliate against lions, leopards and hyenas that prey upon their livestock. Cattle depredation is mostly by lions and most common in grazing herds tended solely by children (rather than by warriors) and in large herds tended by few herders. Depredation on sheep and goats (shoats) is mostly by leopards and is more difficult to prevent. Across all carnivore species, nocturnal depredation is somewhat more common in smaller households. Over most of the NCA, lion killing is proportional to the amount of cattle depredation by resident lions, but nomadic lions from the Serengeti National Park appear to be killed more exclusively for cultural purposes (Ala-mayo) in the open plains. While the impact of ritual hunting on the Serengeti lion population as a whole appears to be trivial, retaliatory killing on resident lions in the NCA may intensify as the human population continues to increase.
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Lions (Panthera leo) have attacked over 1,000 people in Tanzania since 1990. We worked in the two districts with the highest number of attacks, Rufiji and Lindi, and conducted interviews in two villages with high attack numbers and two neighboring villages with no attacks. Logistic regression analysis of 128 questionnaires revealed the following risk factors: ownership of fewer assets, poorly constructed houses/huts, longer walking distances to resources, more nights sleeping outdoors, increased sightings of bush pigs (Potamochoerus porcus), and lower wild prey diversity. A comparative analysis revealed significant differences between the two districts: while high bush pig and low prey numbers affected both districts, hut construction was only significant in Rufiji, and walking distances, asset ownership, sleeping outdoors, and house construction were only significant in Lindi. Such information will help relevant authorities develop site-specific methods to prevent lion attacks and can inform similar research to help prevent human–carnivore conflict worldwide.
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We present a study from Katavi National Park and surrounding areas that assessed the size and structure of the lion population as a baseline for wildlife management. We assessed lion and prey species density directly by sample surveys that incorporated specific detection probabilities. By using three prey-biomass regression models we also indirectly estimated lion density based on the assumption that these indirect estimates represent the Park's carrying capacity for lions. To identify key factors influencing lion abundance we conducted Spearman Rank correlation and logistic regression analyses, using prey species abundance and distance to Park boundary as explanatory variables. The mean size of the lion population was 31–45% of the estimated carrying capacity, with considerably fewer subadult males observed than expected. Lions generally avoided areas of up to 3 km from the Park boundary and were not observed outside the Park. Abundance of common prey species was significantly correlated with distance to the Park boundary and lion abundance. Lion abundance was most strongly associated with waterbuck abundance/presence. Based on observed lion demography, an evaluation of hunting quotas in adjacent hunting blocks, and anecdotal information on traditional lion hunting, we hypothesize that anthropogenic mortality of lions outside Katavi National Park is affecting lion abundance within the Park. Our results suggest that estimating lion densities with prey-biomass regression models overestimates densities even inside protected areas if these areas are subject to natural and anthropogenic edge effects.
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The sex ratio of leopards, Panthera pardus, taken by trophyhunters in Tanzania is examined. We used sex specific molecularmarkers to analyze 77 samples collected from animals shot betweenthe years 1995–1998 and found that 28.6% were females, despitethe fact that only males are allowed on licenses and all skinswere tagged as males. The model used for quota setting assumesthat only males are shot, but the effect of this violation ofquotas is unknown. Off-take in Tanzania does not currently fillquotas, but when off-take approach maximum levels, compliancewith set quotas and regulations will be critical for sustainableharvest.
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African lions (Panthera leo) live in social groups (prides) that exhibit group territorial behavior. Pride persistence is expected to depend on its ability to compete against neighboring prides as well as on average rates of reproduction and survival, thus providing a meaningful measure of intergenerational reproductive success. We used Akaike’s Information Criterion (AIC) to select the best approximating models explaining how demographic variables influenced pride persistence during a 30-year period in the Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania, and identified landscape factors affecting those demographic variables. Pride persistence to 10years depended on adult female density (pride size) and cub productivity (the ultimate source of new females). Average age of adult females had a weakly positive influence on pride persistence, while the effect of female mortality was weakly negative. Adult female mortality increased with disease epidemics and in territories with high human disturbance. Cub productivity was highest in territories closest to rivers and only slightly higher near swamps, and also high in areas of higher vegetative cover and high human use. No landscape variable significantly affected female density. The growth and population size of the Crater lions was closely linked to demographic performance of individual prides, while territorial behavior played a key role in mediating the interactive effects of landscape and demography.
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We apply an age- and stage-structured model incorporating varying harem sizes, paternal care and infanticide to examine the effect of hunting on sustainability of populations. Compared to standard carnivore and herbivore models, these models produce different outcomes for sustainable offtake when either adults, or adult males are harvested. Larger harem size increases sustainable offtake whereas paternal care and infanticide lowers it. Where males are monogamous, populations are vulnerable to male offtake, regardless of paternal care. Surprisingly, an incidental take of 10% of other age–sex-classes has very little effect on these findings. Indiscriminate (subsistence) hunting of all age–sex classes has a dramatic effect on certain populations. Applying these behavior–sensitive models to tourist hunting in the Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania, we find that across the Reserve hunting quotas were generally set at sustainable rates except for leopard (Panthera pardus). In certain hunting blocks within the Reserve, however, quotas for eland (Taurotragus oryx), hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus), lion (Panthera leo), reedbuck (Redunca arundinum), sable antelope (Hippotragus niger), warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus) and waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus) are set at unsustainably high rates. Moreover, particular blocks are consistently awarded high quotas. Behaviorally sensitive models refine predictions for population viability, specify data required to make predictions robust, and demonstrate the necessity of incorporating behavioral ecological knowledge in conservation and management.
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Human harvest of phenotypically desirable animals from wild populations imposes selection that can reduce the frequencies of those desirable phenotypes. Hunting and fishing contrast with agricultural and aquacultural practices in which the most desirable animals are typically bred with the specific goal of increasing the frequency of desirable phenotypes. We consider the potential effects of harvest on the genetics and sustainability of wild populations. We also consider how harvesting could affect the mating system and thereby modify sexual selection in a way that might affect recruitment. Determining whether phenotypic changes in harvested populations are due to evolution, rather than phenotypic plasticity or environmental variation, has been problematic. Nevertheless, it is likely that some undesirable changes observed over time in exploited populations (e.g., reduced body size, earlier sexual maturity, reduced antler size, etc.) are due to selection against desirable phenotypes-a process we call "unnatural" selection. Evolution brought about by human harvest might greatly increase the time required for over-harvested populations to recover once harvest is curtailed because harvesting often creates strong selection differentials, whereas curtailing harvest will often result in less intense selection in the opposing direction. We strongly encourage those responsible for managing harvested wild populations to take into account possible selective effects of harvest management and to implement monitoring programs to detect exploitation-induced selection before it seriously impacts viability.
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Constant harvest policies for fish and wildlife populations can lead to population collapse in the face of stochastic variation in population growth rates. Here, we show that weak compensatory response by resource users or managers to changing levels of resource abundance can readily induce harvest cycles that accentuate the risk of catastrophic population collapse. Dynamic system models incorporating this mix of feedback predict that cycles or quasi-cycles with decadal periodicity should commonly occur in harvested wildlife populations, with effort and quotas lagging far behind resources, whereas harvests should exhibit lags of intermediate length. Empirical data gathered from three hunted populations of white-tailed deer and moose were consistent with these predictions of both underlying behavioral causes and dynamical consequences.
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Sport hunting has provided important economic incentives for conserving large predators since the early 1970's, but wildlife managers also face substantial pressure to reduce depredation. Sport hunting is an inherently risky strategy for controlling predators as carnivore populations are difficult to monitor and some species show a propensity for infanticide that is exacerbated by removing adult males. Simulation models predict population declines from even moderate levels of hunting in infanticidal species, and harvest data suggest that African countries and U.S. states with the highest intensity of sport hunting have shown the steepest population declines in African lions and cougars over the past 25 yrs. Similar effects in African leopards may have been masked by mesopredator release owing to declines in sympatric lion populations, whereas there is no evidence of overhunting in non-infanticidal populations of American black bears. Effective conservation of these animals will require new harvest strategies and improved monitoring to counter demands for predator control by livestock producers and local communities.
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Efforts to determine whether bottom-up or top-down processes regulate populations have been hampered by difficulties in accurately estimating the population's carrying capacity and in directly measuring food intake rate, the impacts of interspecific competition and exposure to natural enemies. We report on 40 years of data on the lion population in Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania, which showed strong evidence of density-dependent regulation at 100-120 individuals but has remained below 60 individuals for the past decade despite consistently high prey abundance. The lions enjoy a higher per capita food-intake rate and higher cub recruitment at low population density, and interspecific competition has not increased in recent years. These animals have suffered from a number of severe disease outbreaks over the past 40 years, but, whereas the population recovered exponentially from a severe epizootic in 1963, three outbreaks between 1994 and 2001 have occurred in such rapid succession that the population has been unable to return to the carrying capacity. The Crater population may have become unusually vulnerable to infectious disease in recent years owing to its close proximity to a growing human population and a history of close inbreeding. The Crater lions may therefore provide important insights into the future of many endangered populations.
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Territorial behavior is expected to buffer populations against short-term environmental perturbations, but we have found that group living in African lions causes a complex response to long-term ecological change. Despite numerous gradual changes in prey availability and vegetative cover, regional populations of Serengeti lions remained stable for 10- to 20-year periods and only shifted to new equilibria in sudden leaps. Although gradually improving environmental conditions provided sufficient resources to permit the subdivision of preexisting territories, regional lion populations did not expand until short-term conditions supplied enough prey to generate large cohorts of surviving young. The results of a simulation model show that the observed pattern of “saltatory equilibria” results from the lions' grouping behavior.
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Large carnivores inspire opposition to conservation efforts owing to their impact on livestock and human safety. Here we analyse the pattern of lion attacks over the past 15 years on humans in Tanzania, which has the largest population of lions in Africa, and find that they have killed more than 563 Tanzanians since 1990 and injured at least 308. Attacks have increased dramatically during this time: they peak at harvest time each year and are most frequent in areas with few prey apart from bush pigs (Potamochoerus larvatus), the most common nocturnal crop pest. Our findings provide an important starting point for devising strategies to reduce the risk to rural Tanzanians of lion attacks.
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In most species, sport hunting of male trophy animals can only reduce overall population size when the rate of removal of males is so high that females can no longer be impregnated. However, where males provide extensive paternal care, the removal of even a few individuals could harm the population as a whole. In species such as lions, excessive trophy hunting could theoretically cause male replacements (and associated infanticide) to become sufficiently common to prevent cubs reaching adulthood. Here we simulate the population consequences of lion trophy hunting using a spatially explicit, individual-based, stochastic model parameterized with 40 years of demographic data from northern Tanzania. Although our simulations confirm that infanticide increases the risk of population extinction, trophy hunting could be sustained simply by hunting males above a minimum age threshold, and this strategy maximizes both the quantity and the quality of the long-term kill. We present a simple non-invasive technique for estimating lion age in populations lacking long-term records, and suggest that quotas would be unnecessary in any male-only trophy species where age determination could be reliably implemented.
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Protected areas (PAs) have long been criticized as creations of and for an elite few, where associated costs, but few benefits, are borne by marginalized rural communities. Contrary to predictions of this argument, we found that average human population growth rates on the borders of 306 PAs in 45 countries in Africa and Latin America were nearly double average rural growth, suggesting that PAs attract, rather than repel, human settlement. Higher population growth on PA edges is evident across ecoregions, countries, and continents and is correlated positively with international donor investment in national conservation programs and an index of park-related funding. These findings provide insight on the value of PAs for local people, but also highlight a looming threat to PA effectiveness and biodiversity conservation.
Chapter
This chapter presents an overview of hunting in Africa today. A comparison is given of the various hunting destinations and their comparative costs. Tanzania is the most satisfactory destination by most criteria but it is comparatively expensive, while South Africa is the cheapest, busiest (4,500 clients annually) and most accessible. Wildlife is plentiful in some country locations but is being poached mercilessly in others. Only through effective regulation will it be preserved and turned to the benefit of the countries and their communities. If local communities and landowners on whose land wildlife feeds do not benefit from wildlife, they will not conserve it. Tanzania is used as an example of the potential benefits to be gained from safari hunting because of the authors particular experience of that country. The Cullman Wildlife Project, a community based wildlife utilization scheme in Tanzania which is sponsored by donations from hunters, is described and the benefits to the communities outlined. This model can be applied elsewhere and has many of the features of the CAMPFIRE Project in Zimbabwe and the Madikwa Game Reserve in South Africa. Quotas and quota setting are critical to the maintenance of wildlife populations on government and communal lands. A case is made for lifting the hunting ban in Kenya and re-introducing safari hunting, and possible charges and potential earnings are presented.
Chapter
Recreational hunting has long been a controversial issue. Is it a threat to biodiversity or can it be a tool for conservation, giving value to species and habitats that might otherwise be lost? Are the moral objections to hunting for pleasure well founded? Does recreational hunting support rural livelihoods in developing countries, or are these benefits exaggerated by proponents? For the first time, this book addresses many of the issues that are fundamental to an understanding of the real role of recreational hunting in conservation and rural development. It examines the key issues, asks the difficult questions, and seeks to present the answers to guide policy. Where the answers are not available, it highlights gaps in our knowledge and lays out the research agenda for the next decade.
Article
We offer suggestions to avoid misuse of information-theoretic methods in wildlife laboratory and field studies. Our suggestions relate to basic science issues and the need to ask deeper questions (4 problems are noted), errors in the way that analytical methods are used (7 problems), and outright mistakes seen commonly in the published literature (5 problems). We assume that readers are familiar with the information-theoretic approaches and provide several examples of misuse. Any method can be misused-our purpose here is to suggest constructive ways to avoid misuse.
Article
Preserving wildlife in a pristine state on a large scale is no longer feasible in view of continued human population increases, economic development, habitat fragmentation and degradation, the introduction of nonnative species, and commercialisation of wildlife products. The wise use of the planet's remaining wildlife resources will depend on management practices which recognise that indigenous people are integral parts of ecosystems. Community-based conservation, which attempts to devolve responsibility for the sustainable use of wildlife resources to the local level, can include consumptive activities, such as trophy hunting, as well as nonconsumptive forms of tourism. The trophy hunting management systems of six countries of eastern and southern Africa are profiled and critiqued, demonstrating a number of essential conditions for obtaining optimal wildlife conservation and community benefits.
Article
Mammalian carnivores are particularly vulnerable to extinction in fragmented landscapes, and their disappearance may lead to increased numbers of smaller carnivores that are principle predators of birds and other small vertebrates. Such `mesopredator release' has been implicated in the decline and extinction of prey species. Because experimental manipulation of carnivores is logistically, financially and ethically problematic,, however, few studies have evaluated how trophic cascades generated by the decline of dominant predators combine with other fragmentation effects to influence species diversity in terrestrial systems. Although the mesopredator release hypothesis has received only limited critical evaluation and remains controversial, it has become the basis for conservation programmes justifying the protection of carnivores. Here we describe a study that exploits spatial and temporal variation in the distribution and abundance of an apex predator, the coyote, in a landscape fragmented by development. It appears that the decline and disappearance of the coyote, in conjunction with the effects of habitat fragmentation, affect the distribution and abundance of smaller carnivores and the persistence of their avian prey.
Article
In the Katavi-Rukwa ecosystem of western Tanzania, aerial censuses carried out between 1988 and 2002 show that populations of several large ungulate species had declined. Five competing factors that could be responsible for these changes were investigated. (i) Rainfall increased slightly over 25 years and (ii) no obvious outbreaks of disease were witnessed, suggesting that populations are not suffering food shortages or disease. (iii) Large predators live at low densities and are not increasing, and estimates suggest that that predation is unlikely to impact larger prey species. (iv) Some assessments of illegal hunting indicate little influence on herbivore populations but one measure points to giraffe, hippopotamus, warthog and perhaps other species being adversely affected. (v) Tourist hunting quotas of lions and greater kudu in hunting blocks appear high and there are indications that both may be declining. Preliminary data, approximate calculations and elimination of hypotheses point to anthropogenic factors being partly responsible for changes in this ecosystem and constructive recommendations are made to alter these. More generally, this study highlights the importance of monitoring in conjunction with collecting diverse data when trying to stop population declines before they become too serious.
Article
In 1972, four aerial censuses were carried out to assess the annual migration of zebra and wildebeest between Tarangire National Park and Simanjiro Plains. About 6000 zebra and 10,000 wildebeest were in the Plains in the middle of the rainy season, in April. During the dry season in August the animals were concentrated in the Park. The migration from the Park to the Plains started at beginning of the rains, in November/December. Recent censuses by Tanzania Wildlife Conservation Monitoring (TWCM, 1991, 1995) indicate that an estimated 23,000 zebra and 11,000 wildebeest migrate into the Park from Simanjiro and other wet season areas. Encroaching cultivation is a threat to the migration corridors and sustainability of the ecosystem . Providing benefits from wildlife to communities around the park would safeguard the future of the wildlife.
Article
In 1992, tourist hunting in the Selous Game Reserve generated 1.28 million dollars for the Tanzanian government, of which 0·96 million dollars were returned to wildlife conservation. Lions (Panthera leo) are one of three critical species for tourist hunting, consistently generating 12%–13% of hunting revenue from 1988 to 1992. Because of their ecological and economic importance (and intrinsic value), it is important that lion quotas be set so that offtake is sustainable. The population density of lions in Selous ranges from 0·08 to 0·13 adults km−2, comparable to unhunted ecosystems. The adult sex ratio (36–41% male) and the ratio of cubs to adults (29% cubs) are similar to those of unhunted populations. The ratio of lions to hyaenas is lower in heavily hunted areas (0·17 lions/hyena) than in unhunted areas (0·43 lions/hyena). Hunting levels between 1989 and 1994 took 2·7–4·3% of adult males annually, which is sustainable. The current quota is 10–16% of the adult male population, which exceeds natural mortality rates for male lions. To remain stable if the quota was filled, the population would have to compensate via increased fecundity, increased juvenile survival, or an altered sex-ratio. Compensation occurs in Selous by producing (or raising) more male than female cubs (66–81% of juveniles are male). Only 28% of the Selous quota was filled in 1992. The percentage of quota filled (both in Selous and nationwide) has dropped since 1988 as quotas have increased. The current intensity of lion hunting in Selous is sustainable, but the quota cannot be filled sustainably.
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Information theory and log-likelihood models - a basis for model selection and inference practical use of the information theoretic approach model selection uncertainty with examples Monte Carlo insights and extended examples statistical theory.
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Large carnivores have declined worldwide, largely through conflict with people. Here, we quantify the impact of lethal control, associated with livestock depredation, on a population of African lions (Panthera leo) living outside protected areas. Farmers shot lions only in response to livestock attacks. Nevertheless, adult mortality was high and a simple model predicted that the population was marginally stable or slowly declining. Mortality was four times higher among lions radio-collared in association with attacks on livestock, than among lions with no known history of stock killing, suggesting that some animals were habitual stock killers. Known stock killers also experienced lower reproductive success; hence there was strong artificial selection against stock-killing behaviour. In addition, mortality was higher among lions whose home ranges overlapped a property where non-traditional livestock husbandry was associated with chronic depredation by lions. This 180 km 2 ranch acted as a sink that directly affected lions over more than 2000 km 2 and may have undermined the viability of the study population. Our results suggest that sustainable coexistence of lions and people demands livestock husbandry