Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Large-scale distribution patterns of carnivores in northern South Africa: implications for conservation and monitoring

  • Michelle Thorn (a1), Matthew Green (a2), Mark Keith (a3), Kelly Marnewick (a4), Philip W. Bateman (a2), Elissa Z. Cameron (a2) and Dawn M. Scott (a1)...

Abstract

Accurate assessment of carnivore population status is frequently hindered by insufficient distribution data. For northern South Africa we address this deficit by mapping new records from landscape-scale sign surveys, questionnaire interviews, problem animal records and camera trapping. The black-backed jackal Canis mesomelas and caracal Caracal caracal remain common and widespread. Ranges of the serval Leptailurus serval and brown hyaena Hyaena brunnea were much larger than previous estimates, reducing the risk of simultaneous extirpation across all occupied locations. The proportion of range area occupied was larger for several species, notably the leopard Panthera pardus, cheetah Acinonyx jubatus and serval. We conclude that the serval continues to recover from historical threats and is expanding into new areas. A larger brown hyaena range and less fragmented pattern of occurrence probably confers greater resilience to threats than was suggested by previous data. Reduced extinction risk arising from the increased area occupied by the cheetah and leopard is tempered by probable local range contraction. Our maps provide baseline information for monitoring the distribution of these six species, which is essential in managing ecological issues that have a spatial component such as responses to changing land use. Our results also demonstrate the utility of detection/non-detection surveys in rapid assessment of carnivore populations at large spatial scales.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Large-scale distribution patterns of carnivores in northern South Africa: implications for conservation and monitoring
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Large-scale distribution patterns of carnivores in northern South Africa: implications for conservation and monitoring
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Large-scale distribution patterns of carnivores in northern South Africa: implications for conservation and monitoring
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

Corresponding author

University of Brighton, Biology Division, Huxley Building, Lewes Road, Moulsecoomb, Brighton, BN2 4GJ, UK. E-mail thorn_green@hotmail.com

References

Hide All
Bothma, J.d.P., Suich, H. & Spenceley, A. (2009) Extensive wildlife production on private land in South Africa. In Evolution and Innovation in Wildlife Conservation: Parks and Game Ranches to Transfrontier Conservation Areas (eds Suich, H., Child, B. & Spenceley, A.), pp. 147162. Earthscan, London, UK.
Brown, J.H. (1984) On the relationship between abundance and distribution of species. American Naturalist, 124, 255279.
Dobson, A. & Nowak, K. (2010) Does this photo make my range look big? Animal Conservation, 13, 347349.
Friedmann, Y. & Daly, D. (eds) (2004) Red Data Book of the Mammals of South Africa: A Conservation Assessment. Conservation Breeding Specialist Group Southern Africa (Species Survival Commission/IUCN) & The Endangered Wildlife Trust, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Gaston, K.J. & Fuller, R.A. (2009) The sizes of species’ geographic ranges. Journal of Applied Ecology, 46, 19.
Gelderblom, C.M., Bronner, G.N., Lombard, A.T. & Taylor, P.J. (1995) Patterns of distribution and current protection status of the Carnivora, Chiroptera and Insectivora in South Africa. South African Journal of Zoology, 30, 103114.
Hartley, S. & Kunin, W.E. (2003) Scale dependency of rarity, extinction risk, and conservation priority. Conservation Biology, 17, 15591570.
Hermann, E., Kalmer, J.F. & Avenant, N.L. (2008) New records of servals (Leptailurus serval) in central South Africa. South African Journal of Wildlife Research, 38, 185188.
Hines, J.E., Nichols, J.D., Royle, J.A., MacKenzie, D.I., Gopalaswamy, A.M., Samba Kumar, N. & Karanth, K.U. (2010) Tigers on trails: occupancy modeling for cluster sampling. Ecological Applications, 20, 14561466.
IUCN (2001) IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1. IUCN Species Survival Commission, Gland, Switzerland.
Karanth, K.U. & Nichols, J.D. (eds) (2002) Monitoring Tigers and Their Prey: A Manual for Researchers, Managers and Conservationists in Tropical Asia. Centre for Wildlife Studies, Bangalore, India.
Karanth, K.K., Nichols, J.D., Hines, J.E., Karanth, K.U. & Christensen, N.L. (2009) Patterns and determinants of mammal species occurrence in India. Journal of Applied Ecology, 46, 11891200.
Kaunda, S.K.K. (2001) Spatial utilization by black-backed jackals in southeastern Botswana. African Zoology, 36, 143152.
Keith, M. (ed.) (2004) Geographic Information System (GIS) Data of South African Mammals. Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa.
MacKenzie, D.I., Nichols, J.D., Royle, J.A., Pollock, K., Bailey, L. & Hines, J.E. (2006) Occupancy Estimation and Modelling: Inferring Patterns and Dynamics of Species Occurrence. Elsevier Publishing, London, UK.
Marnewick, K., Beckhelling, A., Cilliers, D., Lane, E., Mills, G., Herring, K. et al. . (2007) The status of the cheetah in South Africa. Cat News, Special issue 3, 2231.
Nowell, K. & Jackson, P. (eds) (1996) Wild Cats. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN/Species Survival Commission Cat Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
O’Brien, T.G. (2008) On the use of automated cameras to estimate species richness for large- and medium-sized rainforest mammals. Animal Conservation, 11, 179181.
Pettorelli, N., Lobora, A.L., Msuha, M.J., Foley, C. & Durant, S.M. (2010) Carnivore biodiversity in Tanzania: revealing the distribution patterns of secretive mammals using camera traps. Animal Conservation, 13, 131139.
Pringle, J.A. & Pringle, V.L. (1979) Observations on the lynx Felis caracal in the Bedford district. South African Journal of Zoology, 14, 14.
Robertson, M.P. & Barker, N.P. (2006) A technique for evaluating species richness maps generated from collections data. South African Journal of Science, 102, 7784.
Rodríguez, J.P., Ashenfelter, G., Rojas-Suárez, F., Fernández, J.J.G., Suárez, L. & Dobson, A.P. (2000) Local data are vital to worldwide conservation. Nature, 403, 241.
Sclater, P.L. (1990) 1877 Felis lanea the woolly cheetah. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, 532–533. In The Mammals of the Southern African Sub-Region (eds Skinner, J.D. & Smithers, R.H.N.), pp. 392. University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa.
Sillero-Zubiri, C., Hoffmann, M. & Macdonald, D.W. (eds) (2004) Canids: Foxes, Wolves, Jackals and Dogs. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN/Species Survival Commission Canid Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
Skinner, J.D. (1976) Ecology of the brown hyaena Hyaena brunnea in the Transvaal with a distribution map for southern Africa. South African Journal of Science, 72, 262269.
Skinner, J.D. & Smithers, R.H.N. (1990) The Mammals of the Southern African Sub-Region. University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa.
Smithers, R.H.N. (1986) South African Red Data Book: Terrestrial Mammals. South African National Scientific Programmes Report No. 125. Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Pretoria, South Africa.
Stuart, C.T. (1985) The status of two endangered carnivores occurring in the Cape Province, South Africa, Felis serval and Lutra maculicollis. Biological Conservation, 35, 375382.
Stuart, C.T., Macdonald, I.A.W. & Mills, M.G.L. (1985) History, current status and conservation of large mammalian predators in the Cape Province, Republic of South Africa. Biological Conservation, 31, 719.
Stuart, C. & Stuart, T. (2000) A Field Guide to the Tracks and Signs of Southern and East African Wildlife. Struik, Cape Town, South Africa.
Thorn, M., Green, M., Bateman, P., Cameron, E.Z., Yarnell, R. & Scott, D. (2010) Comparative performance of sign surveys, spotlighting, and audio playbacks in a landscape-scale carnivore survey. South African Journal of Wildlife Research, 40, 7786.
Walton, L.R. & Joly, D.O. (2003) Canis mesomelas. Mammalian Species, 715, 19.

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed