Research Papers

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Conserving large carnivores: dollars and fence

Conservationists often advocate for landscape approaches to wildlife management while others argue for physical separation between protected species and human communities, but direct empirical comparisons of these alternatives are scarce. We relate African lion population densities and population trends to contrasting management practices across 42 sites in 11 countries. Lion populations in fenced reserves are significantly closer to their estimated carrying capacities than unfenced populations. Whereas fenced reserves can maintain lions at 80% of their potential densities on annual management budgets of $500 km

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Understanding the factors responsible for the absence of African lion (Panthera leo) in Arusha National Park, Tanzania.

In Arusha National Park, which is situated in the northern part of Tanzania near the fast growing and densely populated city of Arusha, lions’ sightings have been recorded periodically since its establishment in 1960. The first time was in 1972 and the second time was in the period between 1997 and 1998 in various sections of the park. Despite the fact that, the park has stable potential prey populations for lion such as buffalo, zebra, waterbuck and giraffe and is linked to other parks such as Amboseli National Park in Kenya and Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzania through migratory corridors, lion’s sightings inside the park has never been recorded again since 1998. To find out which factors are responsible for that, this research was carried out.

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Population ecology & demography of Kunene Lions

The Namibian lion is the most threatened and endangered of the large carnivore species, and arguably also one of the more vulnerable large mammals in Namibia. Their distribution is confined to large protected areas and extreme arid environments. Throughout their range, and along the borders of the protected areas, conflict between lions and the Namibian people is a regular and significant problem. Lions prey on domestic livestock, and in protection of their livelihood, local people shoot, trap, or poison lions. These incidents of Human Lion Conflict result in significant financial and conservation losses. Furthermore, the lion is a key and flagship species for the influential and growing tourism industry. The majority of lions that live outside protected areas occur in the arid habitats of the Kunene Region. The local communities share their land with free-ranging lions and, as a result, incidents of Human Lion Conflict are frequent. The Kunene Region, with its’ unique landscapes, fauna and flora, is also an important area for tourism. The conservation of lions in the Kunene region is therefore essential to address Human Lion Conflict, and to conserve a flagship species for the tourism industry. The Kunene Lion Project contributes to this process by maintaining a comprehensive database on the density, demography, and population ecology of lions. Through applied research and monitoring, the study collects sound scientific data to guide management strategies and the implementation of a National Lion Conservation Strategy.

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