An assessment of the density of a large carnivore using a non-invasive method adapted for pilot studies
2010 (English)In: South African Journal of Wildlife Research, ISSN 0379-4369, E-ISSN 1996-8477, Vol. 40, no 2, 121-129 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The recent increase in habitat fragmentation across our continents calls for concern with regard to the future survival of wildlife. In this respect corridors and stepping-stones are important. Targeting a wide-ranging top-trophic carnivore, the aim of this study was to estimate the density and abundance of leopards (Panthera pardus) in an area that might serve as a stepping-stone between other larger protected areas. We deliberately used a survey method designed to balance resource utilization and relevance of the results to fit the purpose of a pilot survey. The Sangare Ranch Conservancy is a newly established, privately owned park in Kenya. Using non-invasive techniques we identified 13 individual leopards composing of approximately 80% males. In addition, we found 28 leopard signs per 100 km walked, a predicted carrying capacity of around nine leopards/100 km(2) and a leopard predation pressure on neighboring goat stock of 5.6%. We suggest that the conservancy plays an important role for leopard ecology and comprises a geographical and ecological stepping-stone between other protected wild habitats in the region. The study also suggests more efficient methods for future non-invasive studies.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 40, no 2, 121-129 p.
top-trophic carnivore, stepping-stone habitat, wildlife monitoring
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-154881DOI: 10.3957/056.040.0203ISI: 000291012100003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-154881DiVA: diva2:422655