You are here

Trans-kalahari predator conservation project

Date: August 17, 2016

Promoting conservation of carnivores across boundaries in southern Africa


Background

An adult male lion in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (photo by S.Cushman)
An adult male lion in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (photo by S.Cushman).
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, RMRS 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.

Juvenile lions playing in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (photo by S.Cushman)2.
Juvenile lions playing in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (photo by S.Cushman).

Key Findings

  • Successfully identified the factors that drive patterns of lion movement
  • Used 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.

Featured Publications

Cushman, Samuel A. ; Elliot, Nicholas B. ; Macdonald, David W. ; Loveridge, Andrew J. , 2015
Elliot, Nicholas B. ; Cushman, Samuel A. ; Loveridge, Andrew J. ; Mtare, Godfrey ; Macdonald, David W. , 2014
Elliot, Nicholas B. ; Cushman, Samuel A. ; Macdonald, David W. ; Loveridge, Andrew J. , 2014


Principal Investigators: 
External Partners: 
University of Oxford, Wildlife Conservation Research Unit
Research Location: 
Africa-Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Angola