Weise F.J.,1N aan Ku Se Research Programme |
Wessels Q.,University of Namibia |
Munro S.,1N aan Ku Se Research Programme |
Solberg M.,1N aan Ku Se Research Programme
South African Journal of Wildlife Research | Year: 2014
Wildlife-proof fencing is increasing in extent as a result of the growing wildlife industry on private lands in southern Africa. In environments where such fences hinder the movements of free-ranging wildlife, the provision of artificial passageways can restore connectivity for some species.We tested the use of 49 discarded car tyres as wildlife passageways along the border of a Namibian wildlife farm. Tyres were installed into a wildlife-proof fence to reduce regular warthog (Phacochoerus africanus) damage to the fence and to provide connectivity and dispersal opportunities for selected indigenous wildlife species between adjacent farmland properties. The total cost for all 49 tyre installations was USD 252, which is significantly cheaper than daily fence patrols and maintenance. In addition,one tyre was monitored specifically for large carnivore activity with a motion-triggered camera trap (n = 96 trap days between August and December 2010). Eleven mammalian species used the tyre as a passageway and both cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) and leopards (Panthera pardus) made regular and repeated use of the tyre. Nine independent recordings of cheetahs, representing seven individuals, were made. One leopard was photographed four times. The suitability of discarded tyres as cost-effective artificial wildlife passageways for a range of mammalian species is stressed.