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Individual Highlight

Trans-kalahari Predator Conservation Project

Photo of An adult male lion in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Sam Cushman, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.An adult male lion in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Sam Cushman, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.Snapshot : Populations of large carnivores are declining globally, and in Africa the ranges of lions, leopards, wild dogs and spotted hyenas have contracted dramatically in the past few decades. The goal of this project is to assess current population distribution and connectivity for these species across a vast trans-boundary region of Southern Africa.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Cushman, Samuel A.  
Research Location : Africa-Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Angola
Research Station : Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS)
Year : 2016
Highlight ID : 1004

Summary

Populations of large carnivores are declining globally, and in Africa the ranges of lions, leopards, wild dogs and spotted hyenas have contracted dramatically in the past few decades. The goal of this project is to assess current population distribution and connectivity for these species across a vast trans-boundary region of Southern Africa, comprising the Kavango-Zambeizi Trans-Frontier Conservation Area (KAZA), which consists of most of Botswana as well as portions of Zambia, Angola, Zimbabwe, Angola and South Africa. In collaboration with scientists at the Oxford University-Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Forest Service scientist Samuel Cushman is leading efforts related to modeling population distributions and connectivity and evaluating scenarios of landscape change for African lions. A variety of tools are being used to complete a comprehensive, multiple scale assessment of current population status and to project future changes in population distribution and connectivity across a range of scenarios that involve changing climate, land use and human population impacts. Successfully identified the factors that drive patterns of lion movementUsed information on the factors that drive lion movement to evaluate current and potential future patterns of connectivity of lion populations across the full extent of KAZA.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

 
  • University of Oxford, Wildlife Conservation Research Unit