Panthera Foundation

NY, United States

Panthera Foundation

NY, United States
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Olson K.A.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Fuller T.K.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Mueller T.,University of Maryland University College | Mueller T.,Conservation Biology Institute | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Arid Environments | Year: 2010

Determining the scale and pattern of, and the influences on, the movements of Mongolian gazelles is important because their numbers and range have been reduced significantly, and their remaining grassland habitat faces further fragmentation and degradation. Therefore, during 2000-2005 we monitored movements of individually marked Mongolian gazelle calves and adult females in the Eastern Steppe of Mongolia to identify variation in seasonal range sizes and locations, group sizes, and range characteristics. Annual range size for calves varied over an order of magnitude (800-18 700 km 2), and none of 9 calves tracked for a full year returned to their birth site. Adult gazelles ranged widely (14 000-32 000 km 2 annually) and individuals captured together showed little range overlap. Seasonal shifts in range use suggested gazelles are readily able to take advantage of changing conditions, but the lack of consistent use of seasonal ranges is characteristic of a nomadic movement strategy. Developing strategies that protect ungulate populations that demonstrate nomadic movements is an important consideration in future conservation decisions. Understanding the ecology driving these movements will be an important next step. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Braczkowski A.R.,University of Oxford | Balme G.A.,Panthera Foundation | Balme G.A.,University of Cape Town | Dickman A.,University of Oxford | And 6 more authors.
African Entomology | Year: 2015

In a number of African countries, the trophy hunting of large felids is an important revenue generator for landholders, governments and in some cases communities. The hunting of large felids is especially profitable but they are sensitive to harvest, as the killing of prime-aged, dominant males can lead to infanticide and lowered reproductive success. In an attempt to limit the negative impacts of trophy hunting on large felids, the scientific community has proposed a number of interventions, including age restrictions on the animals that may be hunted. Such interventions are theoretically complementary to trophy hunting, as hunters typically seek large trophies, and older animals are normally larger than younger ones in large felids. If trophy size results in an increase in trophy price, then interventions that improve average trophy size could confer elevated earnings. This is particularly true if such interventions increased the number of failed hunts such that the same tag can be sold more than once. However, if trophy size is not one of the most important factors determining the desirability of a hunt (which we judge by the price paid for a trophy hunt package), it may be more difficult to implement such schemes. It is therefore important to evaluate potential determinants of trophy hunt package price; and we examine that here for leopards (Panthera pardus) in Africa, at both the country and outfitter level. We show that Tanzania and Botswana have the most expensive package prices while South Africa has the cheapest packages. At the country level, we found no statistical relationships between package price and leopard trophy size (either through advertised website or Safari Club International (SCI) leopard trophy size), country GDP, relative hunt success, or quota size. Contrastingly, the number of charismatic species offered within a package and an index of outfitter reputation (as measured by total SCI trophy records) were positively associated with package price. Interestingly, SCI leopard trophy size was inversely correlated with package price. Our results suggest that hunters do not value leopard trophy size above other factors, which could hinder the implementation of more sustainable, age-based leopard hunting regulations.

Funston P.J.,Tshwane University of Technology | Groom R.J.,University of Johannesburg | Groom R.J.,Conservation Fund | Lindsey P.A.,University of Pretoria | Lindsey P.A.,Panthera Foundation
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Large African predators, especially lions (Panthera leo) and leopards (Panthera pardus), are financially valuable for ecotourism and trophy hunting operations on land also utilized for the production of other wildlife species for the same purpose. Predation of ungulates used for trophy hunting can create conflict with landholders and trade off thus exists between the value of lions and leopards and their impact on ungulate populations. Therefore productionist and conservation trade-offs are complexly graded and difficult to resolve. We investigated this with a risk-benefit analysis on a large private wildlife production area in Zimbabwe. Our model showed that lions result in substantial financial costs through predation on wild ungulates that may not be offset by profits from hunting them, whereas the returns from trophy hunting of leopards are projected to exceed the costs due to leopard predation. In the absence of additional income derived from photo-tourism the number of lions may need to be managed to minimize their impact. Lions drive important ecological processes, but there is a need to balance ecological and financial imperatives on wildlife ranches, community wildlife lands and other categories of multiple use land used for wildlife production. This will ensure the competitiveness of wildlife based land uses relative to alternatives. Our findings may thus be limited to conservancies, community land-use areas and commercial game ranches, which are expansive in Africa, and should not necessarily applied to areas where biodiversity conservation is the primary objective, even if hunting is allowed there. © 2013 Funston et al.

Harmsen B.J.,Panthera Foundation | Harmsen B.J.,University of Southampton | Foster R.J.,University of Southampton | Silver S.,Wildlife Conservation Society | And 2 more authors.
Biotropica | Year: 2010

Relative abundance indices are often used to compare species abundance between sites. The indices assume that species have similar detection probabilities, or that differences between detection probabilities are known and can be corrected for. Indices often consist of encounter frequencies of footprints, burrows, markings or photo captures along trails or transect lines, but the assumption of equal detection probabilities is rarely validated. This study analyzes detection probabilities of a range of Neotropical mammals on trails in dense secondary forests, using camera-trap and track data. Photo captures of the two large cats, jaguars (Panthera onca) and pumas (Puma concolor), were correlated solely with trail variables, while photo captures of their potential prey species had no correlation or negative correlation with trail variables. The Neotropical mammals varied greatly in their tendency to follow or cross trails based on footprints surveys. This indicates that camera locations on trails will have varying detection probability for these Neotropical mammals. Even the two similar-sized jaguars and pumas, occupying relatively similar niches, differed subtly in their use of trails. Pumas followed trails more completely while jaguars were more likely to deviate from trails. The ecological significance of these findings is that jaguars seem to be more willing to use the forest matrix away from trails than do pumas. We conclude that trail-based indices, such as photographic captures or tracks along trails, are not appropriate for comparison between Neotropical species, and not even between relatively similar species like jaguars and pumas. © 2009 by The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation.

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