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With human influences driving populations of apex predators into decline, more information is required on how factors affect species at national and global scales. However, camera-trap studies are seldom executed at a broad spatial scale. We demonstrate how uniting fine-scale studies and utilizing camera-trap data of non-target species is an effective approach for broadscale assessments through a case study of the brown hyaena Parahyaena brunnea. We collated camera-trap data from 25 protected and unprotected sites across South Africa into the largest detection/non-detection dataset collected on the brown hyaena, and investigated the influence of biological and anthropogenic factors on brown hyaena occupancy. Spatial autocorrelation had a significant effect on the data, and was corrected using a Bayesian Gibbs sampler. We show that brown hyaena occupancy is driven by specific co-occurring apex predator species and human disturbance. The relative abundance of spotted hyaenas Crocuta crocuta and people on foot had a negative effect on brown hyaena occupancy, whereas the relative abundance of leopards Panthera pardus and vehicles had a positive influence. We estimated that brown hyaenas occur across 66% of the surveyed camera-trap station sites. Occupancy varied geographically, with lower estimates in eastern and southern South Africa. Our findings suggest that brown hyaena conservation is dependent upon a multi-species approach focussed on implementing conservation policies that better facilitate coexistence between people and hyaenas. We also validate the conservation value of pooling fine-scale datasets and utilizing bycatch data to examine species trends at broad spatial scales.
I still look back on the fieldwork I undertook for my PhD as one of the most amazing periods of my life and an opportunity I was very fortunate to experience. Arriving in late 1996, I spent 14 months living on De Hoop Nature Reserve in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. South Africa was emerging from the shadow of the apartheid era at that time and, although its legacy was still clearly apparent, I fell in love with the country and its people. While the location of my current field site is now in the opposite corner of the country, my early fieldwork experiences ensured my research has remained situated in the Rainbow Nation ever since.
Since the early 1990s, politicians, policymakers, the media and academics have increasingly focused on religion, noting the significant increase in the number of cases involving religion. As a result, law and religion has become a specific area of study. The work of Professor Norman Doe at Cardiff University has served as a catalyst for this change, especially through the creation of the LLM in Canon Law in 1991 (the first degree of its type since the time of the Reformation) and the Centre for Law and Religion in 1998 (the first of its kind in the UK). Published to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the LLM in Canon Law and to pay tribute to Professor Doe's achievements so far, this volume reflects upon the interdisciplinary development of law and religion.
IAU Commission 40 for Radio Astronomy (hereafter C40) brought together scientists and engineers who carry out observational and theoretical research in radio astronomy and who develop and operate the ground and space-based radio astronomy facilities and instrumentation. As of June 2015, the Commission had approximately 1,100 members from 49 countries, corresponding to nearly 10 per cent of the total IAU membership.
Attitudes to aging have been investigated in non-carer populations and found to have important relationships with physical and mental health. However, these have not been explored in an older carer sample, although it is becoming increasingly important to clarify variables which are linked with positive carer outcomes. This is one of the first studies to report on older carers, their attitudes to aging, and the relationship with carer-related factors.
A cross-sectional study of 202 carers with a mean age of 70.8 years was conducted in Victoria, Australia, using carer demographic data, carer factors such as depression (using the Geriatric Depression Scale), burden (using the Zarit Burden Inventory, ZBI), physical health, personality, and attitudes to aging (using the Attitudes to Aging Questionnaire, AAQ). Spearman rank correlation and hierarchical regression analyses were used.
This study showed that carers had overall positive attitudes to aging inspite of their caring role. It also identified that carer factors including depression and burden contributed a significant amount of the variance to attitudes to aging in terms of physical change and psychosocial loss. Personality traits, specifically neuroticism, and extraversion, were also important contributors to attitudes to aging.
Results from this study demonstrated that inspite of moderate levels of depression and spending significant time caring, carers reported positive attitudes to aging. Treating depression, decreasing burden, and investigating the benefits of caring may assist older carers maintain their well-being.
The conservation of wide-ranging, territorial carnivores presents many challenges, not least the inadequacy of many protected areas in providing sufficient space to allow such species to maintain viable populations. As a result populations occurring outside protected areas may be of considerable importance for the conservation of some species, although the significance of these areas is poorly understood. Brown hyaenas Parahyaena brunnea are categorized as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List and recent research suggests the species may be particularly vulnerable to habitat loss and the conversion of land to agriculture. Here we report on the population density and abundance of brown hyaenas in an area of commercial farmland in western Botswana. Mean brown hyaena density estimated from camera-trap surveys was 2.3 per 100 km2 and from spoor surveys 2.88 per 100 km2, which are comparable to estimates reported for protected areas. Estimated densities were higher on farms used for livestock production than on those used for game farming, suggesting that the species can tolerate land-use change where reliable alternative food resources exist. Our results indicate that populations of brown hyaenas in non-protected areas comprise a significant proportion of the global population and that such areas may be of critical importance for their conservation.