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Spatio-temporal factors impacting encounter occurrences between leopards and other large African predators

Rafiq, K, Jordan, NR, Wilson, AM, McNutt, JW, Hayward, MW, Meloro, C, Wich, SA and Golabek, KA Spatio-temporal factors impacting encounter occurrences between leopards and other large African predators. Journal of Zoology. ISSN 0952-8369 (Accepted)

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Abstract

Encounters between individuals can have implications for a range of processes, including 24 disease transmission, information transfer, and competition. For large carnivores, 25 difficulties in directly observing individuals and historical hardware limitations of GPS 26 collars mean that relatively little is known of the spatio-temporal factors contributing to 27 encounters. The African large predator guild represents one of the few remaining 28 functionally intact guilds of large carnivores on the globe and so represents a unique 29 study system for understanding competitor interactions. We explored the drivers of male 30 leopard (Panthera pardus) encounters with lions (Panthera leo), African wild dogs (Lycaon 31 pictus) and cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) in the context of habitat characteristics and 32 temporal activity overlaps. Using high resolution (five minute GPS fixes) data from 48 33 large African carnivores from 2012 to 2018, we quantified encounter occurrences 34 between male leopards and other guild species and related these to habitat type (open vs 35 closed), activity overlaps, and moonlight levels. Leopards met wild dogs 4.56 ± 1.15 36 (standard error), lions 3.11 ± 0.56, and cheetahs 2.27 ± 0.73 times per month. All species 37 instigated encounters, but leopard instigated encounters with dominant competitors 38 appeared to reflect imperfect information on risk, primarily occurring within habitats with 39 limited visibility. Moreover, encounters peaked during periods of high temporal overlap, 40 suggesting that, although previous research indicates temporal activity patterns may not 41 be driven by predator avoidance, temporal overlap has implications for competitor 42 dynamics. Our results show how habitat characteristics and niche overlaps contribute to 43 encounters between competitors and provide an example of how niche shifts within 44 competitor assemblages can impact competition between species.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 06 Biological Sciences, 05 Environmental Sciences
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QL Zoology
S Agriculture > SF Animal culture
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (new Sep 19)
Publisher: Wiley
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2019 11:12
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2019 11:12
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11591

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