Assessing the distribution and status of lions and other large carnivores in South-Eastern Angola - A report on preliminary results from the 2015 survey season

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Angola made an important contribution to global conservation by designating vast tracks of land for inclusion into KAZA. Little is known, however, about the population status of the key species in the Angolan proportion of KAZA. During the first and only aerial surveys of Luiana Partial Reserve (now part of Luiana National Park) in 2002-2004 researchers detected small populations of elephant, giraffe and buffalos; even several lions and leopards were seen from the air (Chase & Griffin, 2011). While these results were promising, the aerial survey only covered a small proportion (8,163 km2, or <10 %) of the entire KAZA area in Angola; that is, the newly designated Luiana NP, covering a total area of 84,400 km2. Furthermore, aerial surveys are generally only suited to count large-bodied, group-living mega-herbivores. Apart from the few chance observations obtained of other species during the 2002-2004 aerial surveys, no data on the presence, distribution and abundance of smaller ungulates and large carnivores exists for Southeast Angola.

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