Population ecology and long term monitoring of free-ranging populations in Namibia's marginal and arid environments

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The study sites are covered systematically, by tracking their spoor and setting out bait, to capture and mark all individual leopards and lions. Study animals are immobilised following standard procedures described by our earlier studies and conform to international veterinary standards. All leopards and 80% of lions are radio collared and lions are marked with permanent hot brands. The age of lions and leopards are determined from tooth wear. Radio-collared animals are located with the use of a fixed-wing aircraft. Aerial locations are then followed-up by ground observations to record group composition in relation to individuals and age/sex structure, and the ratio of marked to unmarked individuals. Home range analyses was based on locating the daytime resting spots of lions and leopards by radio telemetry with at least 24 hours between fixes. Home range size is calculated using the Minimum Convex Polygon and Kernel Contour methods. Sufficiency of sample size was tested by determining whether or not an asymptote of home range estimate was reached. Detailed data on population density, demography and spoor frequencies are being collected within the boundaries of each study site.

Predator Research Programme
Progress Report
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