• Movement patterns of cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) in farmlands in Botswana

      Van der Weyde, Leanne K.; Hubel, T. Y.; Horgan, J.; Shotton, J.; McKenna, R.; Wilson, A. M. (2017)
      Botswana has the second highest population of cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) with most living outside protected areas. As a result, many cheetahs are found in farming areas which occasionally results in human-wildlife conflict. This study aimed to look at movement patterns of cheetahs in farming environments to determine whether cheetahs have adapted their movements in these human-dominated landscapes. We fitted high-time resolution GPS collars to cheetahs in the Ghanzi farmlands of Botswana. GPS locations were used to calculate home range sizes as well as number and duration of visits to landscape features using a time-based local convex hull method. Cheetahs had medium-sized home ranges compared to previously studied cheetah in similar farming environments. Results showed that cheetahs actively visited scent marking trees and avoided visiting homesteads. A slight preference for visiting game farms over cattle farms was found, but there was no difference in duration of visits between farm types. We conclude that cheetahs selected for areas that are important for their dietary and social needs and prefer to avoid human-occupied areas. Improved knowledge of how cheetahs use farmlands can allow farmers to make informed decisions when developing management practices and can be an important tool for reducing human-wildlife conflict.
    • Multi-species occupancy modelling of a carnivore guild in wildlife management areas in the Kalahari

      Van der Weyde, Leanne K.; Mbisana, Christopher; Klein, Rebecca (Elsevier BV, 2018)
      It was hypothesised that land use type surrounding WMAs, human settlements and prey availability might affect carnivore distribution patterns. We conducted a camera-trap study with 96 stations in two WMAs in the Ghanzi district and used a Royles-Nichol multi-species occupancy model to test which factors influenced habitat use for nine carnivore species....