Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: A leopard's favourite spots: habitat preference and population density of leopards in a semi-arid biodiversity hotspot.
Authors: Parker, Daniel M.
School of Biology and Environmental Sciences
Keywords: Panthera pardus.;Population density.;Spatial capture recapture.;Habitat suitability.
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Elsevier
Abstract: Leopards (Panthera pardus) are the only free-ranging large predators to still occur naturally throughout much of Africa, but are vulnerable to habitat loss, ecosystem degradation and persecution. We used a systematic camera trap survey covering an area of ∼3100 km2 in the Little Karoo, a semi-arid biodiversity hotspot in South Africa, to assess the impacts of land use and habitat type on leopard density. Camera data were supplemented by opportunistic scat collection to produce a habitat suitability model.We used a habitat suitability model to inform spatially explicit capture-recapture models used to estimate population density. We recorded 152 independent photographs of 27 individually recognizable leopards at 54 camera stations and collected scats from a further 76 locations. Our habitat suitability model showed that primary productivity and vegetation type were the best predictors of leopard habitat suitability. Our best performing population density model allowed for detection and movement of individuals to vary according to sex, and estimated population density at 1.26 (SE±0.25) leopards/100 km2. Our results suggest that the Little Karoo contains large areas of leopard habitat, but that leopards only persist at low densities within this area. Our study serves as an important baseline estimate for leopard populations in mixed land-use, semi-arid areas.
Description: Please note that only UMP researchers are shown in the metadata. To access the co-authors, please view the full text.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2020.104218
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
  Until 2072-01-01
Published version1.48 MBAdobe PDFView/Open    Request a copy
Show full item record

Page view(s)

checked on Jun 8, 2021


checked on Jun 8, 2021

Google ScholarTM



Items in UMP Scholarship are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.