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Lüderitz, Namibia

Weise F.J.,N aAn Ku Se Research Programme | Weise F.J.,Manchester Metropolitan University | Wiesel I.,Brown Hyena Research Project | Wiesel I.,University of Pretoria | And 2 more authors.
African Entomology | Year: 2015

The distribution of the brown hyaena (Hyaena brunnea) in southern Africa overlaps widely with commercial livestock ranching. As a direct result, both perceived and confirmed conflict with farmers occurs and hyaenas are trapped for lethal control or translocation. We studied the outcomes of a conflict-related brown hyaena translocation in Central Namibia involving a subadult female - the first reported GPS-monitored translocation of this species. The animal was moved 63 km from the conflict site and after exploratory movements settled into a new home range incorporating resident conspecifics. The hyaena caused no further conflict and did not return home to its original capture site where livestock depredation ceased. The hyaena was killed in a road accident five months after release. We assess and review our results (and brown hyaena translocations in general) with respect to species ecology, previous translocations as well as monitoring data from resident conspecifics. We provide supporting information that individual hyaenas can be translocated successfully but emphasize that decisions need to be made case-specifically considering the age, sex and social status of the animals. We highlight the importance of brown hyaena sociality when considering translocation as a management tool.

Brown hyenas (Parahyaena brunnea) scavenge and kill seal pups at mainland Cape fur seal (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus) colonies. The prey encounter interval and interval between kills depended on seal density, and increased density resulted in an increase of the capture rate and increase in hunting efficiency from 14% in November to 47% in January. The time brown hyenas spent at the seal colony decreased with increasing seal density and increasing air temperatures. Nevertheless, they were regularly active during the day when less adult seals were present at the colony, which indicates that the attendance of adult seals might play a role in the choice of foraging time. Brown hyenas killed seal pups throughout the study period. The predation rate was independent of the availability of non-violent mortalities, but the absolute number of kills was positively density-dependent. Mass kill events were recorded throughout the study period and are therefore not unusual occurrences. The overabundance of easy and vulnerable prey may lead to an over stimulus situation that triggers killing independent of the consumption of the prey or the hunger state. © 2010 Springer-Verlag and ISPA.

Edwards S.,Brown Hyena Research Project | Edwards S.,Royal Holloway, University of London | Gange A.C.,Royal Holloway, University of London | Wiesel I.,Brown Hyena Research Project | Wiesel I.,University of Pretoria
Journal of Zoology | Year: 2015

Interspecific competition often occurs when sympatric carnivores compete for the same, limited resources, although the degree of competition between species pairs may vary with biotic factors such as body size, diet and population density. Avoidance of dominant competitors along the axes of space and time is a potential mechanism for reducing chances of direct encounters between species. However, when resources are essential and spatially fixed, options for spatial partitioning may be limited. We examined resource partitioning within a guild of eight carnivore species at water sources across two commercial farmlands in southwest Namibia. In this semi-desert environment, surface water is scarce and farmers are forced to provision water for livestock through artificial means. Camera traps were used to record spatial and temporal activity patterns of carnivore species at artificial and natural permanent water sources. We found that carnivores use either spatial or temporal resource partitioning, with temporal partitioning being most frequently seen. An association was seen between difference in body mass and degree of spatial partitioning, where species pairings with larger differences in body mass showed the greatest degree of partitioning. These results show that while in arid environments water is rare and used by a number of carnivore species, resource partitioning allows a guild of carnivores, including species of conservation concern, to coexist outside of protected areas. Journal of Zoology © 2015.

Edwards S.,Brown Hyena Research Project | Edwards S.,Royal Holloway, University of London | Gange A.C.,Royal Holloway, University of London | Wiesel I.,Brown Hyena Research Project | Wiesel I.,University of Pretoria
Journal of Arid Environments | Year: 2016

Discussions regarding the importance of accounting for detection probability have long been present in ecological literature. Various studies have demonstrated the influence of survey design on detection probabilities, and whilst the placement of camera traps along roads is a commonly used survey design, it has shown to be biased towards certain species. In arid environments, water sources have the potential to be efficient sites for camera trap placement. We compared the influence of a water source camera trap survey design on the detection probabilities of a guild of seven carnivore species, in comparison detection probabilities from camera traps along roads, on arid, commercial farmland in southern Namibia. Results showed detection probabilities for all species to be higher at water, with the water source design producing shorter latencies of detections and higher naive occupancy estimates for most species. However, for species with unique markings, the water source design produced lower proportions of images suitable for individual identification. As detection probabilities of all species were influenced in a positive manner, we suggest placing camera traps at water sources in arid environments to be an effective survey design. However, for surveys requiring individual identification, placing camera traps along roads may be more suitable. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

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