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African Wild Dog Dispersal and Implications for Management


Cozzi, Gabriele; Behr, Dominik M; Webster, Hugh S; Claase, Megan; Bryce, Caleb M; Modise, Boitshepho; Mcnutt, John W; Ozgul, Arpat (2020). African Wild Dog Dispersal and Implications for Management. Journal of Wildlife Management, 84(4):614-621.

Abstract

Successful conservation of species that roam and disperse over large areas requires detailed understanding of their movement patterns and connectivity between subpopulations. But empirical information on movement, space use, and connectivity is lacking for many species, and data acquisition is often hindered when study animals cross international borders. The African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) exemplifies such species that require vast undisturbed areas to support viable, self‐sustaining populations. To study wild dog dispersal and investigate potential barriers to movements and causes of mortality during dispersal, between 2016 and 2019 we followed the fate of 16 dispersing coalitions (i.e., same‐sex group of ≥1 dispersing African wild dogs) in northern Botswana through global positioning system (GPS)‐satellite telemetry. Dispersing wild dogs covered ≤54 km in 24 hours and traveled 150 km to Namibia and 360 km to Zimbabwe within 10 days. Wild dogs were little hindered in their movements by natural landscape features, whereas medium to densely human‐populated landscapes represented obstacles to dispersal. Human‐caused mortality was responsible for >90% of the recorded deaths. Our results suggest that a holistic approach to the management and conservation of highly mobile species is necessary to develop effective research and evidence‐based conservation programs across transfrontier protected areas, including the need for coordinated research efforts through collaboration between national and international conservation authorities. © 2020 The Wildlife Society.

Abstract

Successful conservation of species that roam and disperse over large areas requires detailed understanding of their movement patterns and connectivity between subpopulations. But empirical information on movement, space use, and connectivity is lacking for many species, and data acquisition is often hindered when study animals cross international borders. The African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) exemplifies such species that require vast undisturbed areas to support viable, self‐sustaining populations. To study wild dog dispersal and investigate potential barriers to movements and causes of mortality during dispersal, between 2016 and 2019 we followed the fate of 16 dispersing coalitions (i.e., same‐sex group of ≥1 dispersing African wild dogs) in northern Botswana through global positioning system (GPS)‐satellite telemetry. Dispersing wild dogs covered ≤54 km in 24 hours and traveled 150 km to Namibia and 360 km to Zimbabwe within 10 days. Wild dogs were little hindered in their movements by natural landscape features, whereas medium to densely human‐populated landscapes represented obstacles to dispersal. Human‐caused mortality was responsible for >90% of the recorded deaths. Our results suggest that a holistic approach to the management and conservation of highly mobile species is necessary to develop effective research and evidence‐based conservation programs across transfrontier protected areas, including the need for coordinated research efforts through collaboration between national and international conservation authorities. © 2020 The Wildlife Society.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Physical Sciences > Ecology
Physical Sciences > Nature and Landscape Conservation
Uncontrolled Keywords:Ecology, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics, Nature and Landscape Conservation
Language:English
Date:1 May 2020
Deposited On:16 Feb 2021 13:52
Last Modified:21 Feb 2021 01:00
Publisher:Wildlife Society
ISSN:0022-541X
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/jwmg.21841
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID31003A_182286
  • : Project TitlePopulation Persistence Under Environmental Change Across Space and Time: A Unified Framework

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