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Durant S.M.,UK Institute of Zoology | Durant S.M.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Becker M.S.,Zambian Carnivore Programme | Becker M.S.,Montana State University | And 52 more authors.
Journal of Applied Ecology | Year: 2015

In dryland ecosystems, mobility is essential for both wildlife and people to access unpredictable and spatially heterogeneous resources, particularly in the face of climate change. Fences can prevent connectivity vital for this mobility. There are recent calls for large-scale barrier fencing interventions to address human-wildlife conflict and illegal resource extraction. Fencing has costs and benefits to people and wildlife. However, the evidence available for facilitating sound decision-making for fencing initiatives is limited, particularly for drylands. We identify six research areas that are key to informing evaluations of fencing initiatives: economics, edge permeability, reserve design, connectivity, ecosystem services and communities. Policy implications. Implementing this research agenda to evaluate fencing interventions in dryland ecosystems will enable better management and policy decisions. The United Nations Conventions on Migratory Species (CMS) and to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) are appropriate international agreements for moving this agenda forward and leading the development of policies and guidelines on fencing in drylands. Implementing this research agenda to evaluate fencing interventions in dryland ecosystems will enable better management and policy decisions. The United Nations Conventions on Migratory Species (CMS) and to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) are appropriate international agreements for moving this agenda forward and leading the development of policies and guidelines on fencing in drylands. © 2015 British Ecological Society.


Creel S.,Montana State University | Becker M.S.,Montana State University | Durant S.M.,UK Institute of Zoology | Durant S.M.,Wildlife Conservation Society | And 56 more authors.
Ecology Letters | Year: 2013

Packer et al. reported that fenced lion populations attain densities closer to carrying capacity than unfenced populations. However, fenced populations are often maintained above carrying capacity, and most are small. Many more lions are conserved per dollar invested in unfenced ecosystems, which avoid the ecological and economic costs of fencing. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.


Tuqa J.H.,Leiden University | Funston P.,Tshwane University of Technology | Musyoki C.,Kenya Wildlife Service | Ojwang G.O.,Directorate of Resource Surveys and Remote Sensing DRSRS | And 7 more authors.
Global Ecology and Conservation | Year: 2014

In this study, we were interested in understanding if droughts influence the home range of predators such as lions, and if it does, in what ways the droughts influenced lions to adjust their home range, in response to prey availability. We monitored movements of ten lions fitted with GPS-GSM collars in order to analyze their home range and movement patterns over a six year period (2007-2012). We assessed the impact of a severe drought on the lion home range and movement patterns in the Amboseli ecosystem. There was a strong positive correlation between the home range size and distance moved in 24h before and during the drought (2007-2009), while after the drought there was a significant negative correlation. A weak positive correlation was evident between the lion home range and rainfall amounts (2010-2012). The male and female home ranges varied over the study period. The home range size and movement patterns coincided with permanent swamps and areas of high prey density inside the protected area. Over the course of the dry season and following the drought, the ranges initially shrank and then expanded in response to decreasing prey densities. The lions spent considerable time outside the park boundaries, particularly after severe the drought. We conclude that under conditions of fragmented habitats, severe climate conditions create new challenges for lion conservation due to effects on prey availability and subsequent influences on carnivore species ranging patterns. Stochastic weather patterns can force wide-ranging species beyond current reserve boundaries, into areas where there will be greater conflicts with humans. © 2014 The Authors.

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