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To return to the Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference website, go to http://www.midwestfw.org/ The following schedule and room names are subject to change (as of February 1, 2017). Please check back for updates. 

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Wednesday, February 8 • 9:20am - 9:40am
Technical Session. Using prey biomass estimates to assess habitat suitability for large African carnivores in a potential corridor region of Northwestern Botswana

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AUTHORS: Emma Doden, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Natural Resources, Wisconsin Center for Wildlife; Christiaan Winterbach, Tau Consultants; Scott Hygnstrom, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Natural Resources, Wisconsin Center for Wildlife; Jason Riddle, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Natural Resources; Rob Thomson, Tau Consultants; Gail Potgieter, Tau Consultants; Shanell Budleski, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Natural Resources; Haylee Stangler, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Natural Resources; Hanlie Winterbach, Tau Consultants

ABSTRACT: Few studies have been conducted in Western Ngamiland in Botswana, Africa, yet the mosaic of wilderness and livestock areas is important for maintaining connectivity between portions of the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area. If an adequate natural prey base exists in the study area persecution of large carnivores due to livestock predation likely is reduced. The objective of this study is to estimate the biomass (in Large Stock Units) of natural prey in Western Ngamiland, previously delineated into six agricultural and conservation zones, to determine habitat suitability in the study area for African lion (Panthera leo), leopard (Panthera pardus), spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta), brown hyena (Hyaena brunnea), African wild dog (Lycaon pictus), and cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus). We conducted 1,872.22 kilometers of transect counts by vehicle from June through early September 2016 to assess the biomass of 11 prey species, ranging in size from steenbok (Raphicerus campestris) to giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis). All spoor (tracks) encountered on the transects were recorded. Aerial point counts were also conducted by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks of Botswana from 1991-2012. For all carnivores combined, XaiXai Core Conservation Zone had the most years with significantly higher prey biomass than expected (Chi Square Goodness of Fit Test), while Ngami Tsodilo Agricultural Zone had the most years with significantly lower prey biomass than expected (Chi Square Goodness of Fit Test). Differences between prey biomass available in each region for individual carnivore species depends in part on whether the carnivore preys on large or small herbivores.

Wednesday February 8, 2017 9:20am - 9:40am
Hawthorne

Attendees (7)