The reintroduction of large carnivores to the Eastern Cape, South Africa: an assessment

Hayward, M.W. and Kerley, G.I.H. and Adendorff, J. and Moolman, L.C. and O'Brien, J. and Sholto-Douglas, A. and Bissett, C. and Bean, P. and Fogarty, A. and Howarth, D. and Slater, R. (2007) The reintroduction of large carnivores to the Eastern Cape, South Africa: an assessment. Oryx, 41 (2). pp. 205-214. ISSN 0030-6053



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Recently, conservation estate in South Africa's Eastern Cape Province has increased 10-fold resulting in large predators being increasingly reintroduced to restore ecological integrity and maximize tourism. We describe the reintroductions of large carnivores (>10 kg) that have occurred in the Eastern Cape and use various criteria to assess their success. Lion Panthera leo reintroduction has been highly successful with a population of 56 currently extant in the region and problems of overpopulation arising. The African wild dog Lycaon pictus population has increased to 24 from a founder population of 11. Preliminary results for spotted hyaenas Crocuta crocuta also indicate success. Wild populations of leopards Panthera pardus exist on several reserves and have been supplemented by translocated individuals, although deaths of known individuals have occurred and no estimate of reproduction is available. Cheetah Acinonyx jubatus reintroduction has also been less successful with 36 individuals reintroduced and 23 cubs being born but only 41 individuals surviving in 2005. Criteria for assessing the success of reintroductions of species that naturally occur in low densities, such as top predators, generally have limited value. Carrying capacity for large predators is unknown and continued monitoring and intensive management will be necessary in enclosed, and possibly all, conservation areas in the Eastern Cape to ensure conservation success.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Note: The erratum appeared in Oryx, Volume 41, Issue 03, July 2007, pp 413-413.
Uncontrolled Keywords:Acinonyx jubatus; Canis familiaris; Felidae; Lycaon pictus; carnivores; Crocuta crocuta; Eastern Cape; Lycaon pictus; management; Panthera; Panthera leo; Panthera pardus; reintroduction; restoration ecology; tourism management; assessment method; canid; carnivore; felid; wild population; Eastern Cape; South Africa; Southern Africa
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Zoology & Entomology
ID Code:1028
Deposited On:21 Jul 2008
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:19
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