• Distribution and population patterns of the threatened palm Brahea aculeata in a tropical dry forest in Sonora, Mexico

      López-Toledo, Leonel; Horn, Christa M.; Endress, Bryan A. (2011)
      The use of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) has great potential for the conservation of natural resources and rural development…. However, in most cases basic ecological information, such as distribution and abundance of the species is unknown, as is information on the ecological implications of human impacts, such as leaf harvest and livestock grazing…. Results from this study will be used to develop appropriate conservation, management and restoration plans of B. aculeata in the area.
    • Every dog has its day: indigenous Tswana dogs are more practical livestock guardians in an arid African savanna compared with their expatriate cousins

      Horgan, Jane E.; Van der Weyde, Leanne K.; Comley, Jessica; Klein, Rebecca; Parker, Dan M. (2021)
      Livestock guarding dogs (LGDs) have been used for centuries to reduce depredation on livestock and, more recently, to facilitate the conservation of threatened carnivores. Conservation organisations in southern Africa promote the use of Anatolian shepherds as LGDs. However, livestock farmers in Botswana use a variety of breeds for this purpose, including local landrace “Tswana” dogs. Our study sought to test the overall effectiveness of these local breeds as LGDs. Irrespective of breed, all LGDs reduced livestock losses, with 47.9% of farmers experiencing no losses after obtaining a guarding dog. Owners with more LGDs, and LGDs of a single sex, had greater reductions in livestock losses. Anatolian shepherds displayed more behavioural problems than other breeds in our study. The health of LGDs was reliant on them receiving a balanced diet, and owners with fewer dogs reported fewer health issues. Moreover, Tswana guarding dogs were cheaper to purchase and feed than their purebred counterparts. Our results show that local landrace dogs can be considered a cheaper and more practical alternative to purebred LGDs for reducing livestock losses and for mitigating human-wildlife conflict in Botswana.
    • Landscape-level changes to large mammal space use in response to a pastoralist incursion

      Masiaine, Symon; Pilfold, Nicholas W.; Moll, Remington J.; O'Connor, David; Larpei, Lexson; Stacy-Dawes, Jenna; Ruppert, Kirstie; Glikman, Jenny A.; Roloff, Gary; Montgomery, Robert A. (2021)
      Pastoralists and their livestock have long competed with wildlife over access to grazing on shared rangelands. In the dynamic 21st century however, the configuration and quality of these rangelands is changing rapidly. Climate change processes, human range expansion, and the fragmentation and degradation of rangeland habitat have increased competition between pastoralist livestock and wildlife. Interactions of this type are particularly apparent in East Africa, and perhaps most obvious in northern Kenya. In 2017, following months of intense drought, a pastoralist incursion of a protected area (Loisaba Conservancy) occurred in Laikipia County, Kenya. An estimated 40,000 livestock were herded onto the conservancy by armed pastoralists where the cattle were grazed for approximately three months. Using 53 camera trap sites across the 226 km2 conservancy, we quantified spatial patterns in site visitation rates (via spatially-explicit, temporally-dynamic Bayesian models) for seven species of large mammalian herbivores in the three-month period directly before, during, and after the incursion. We detected significant changes in space use of all large mammalian herbivores during the incursion. Furthermore, these patterns did not return to their pre-incursion state in the three-month period after the pastoralists and their livestock left the conservancy. Thus, in addition to reduced site vitiation rates for these large mammalian herbivores, we also detected considerable displacement in response to the livestock incursion. Our results illustrate that pastoralist incursions can cause large-scale disruptions of wildlife space use, supporting the notion that livestock can competitively exclude large mammalian herbivores from grazing access. We discuss the implications of this research for applied management decisions designed to alleviate competition among wildlife and pastoralist livestock for the benefit of wildlife conservation and pastoralist well-being.
    • Source–sink population dynamics and sustainable leaf harvesting of the understory palm Chamaedorea radicalis

      Berry, Eric J.; Gorchov, David L.; Endress, Bryan A.; Liu, Jianguo; Hull, Vanessa; Morzillo, Anita T.; Wiens, John A. (Cambridge University PressCambridge, 2011)
      In this study we assessed the sustainability of leaf harvesting of the palm Chamaedorea radicalis by modeling the dynamics of harvested populations using stage-structured transition matrices. Within the study site, El Cielo Biosphere Reserve, palm demography and population growth is dependent on substrate type; a relationship that is due to the role of rock outcrops as a refuge from herbivory by free-ranging livestock....