Title
Conserving large carnivores : dollars and fenceConserving large carnivores : dollars and fence
Author
Publication type
article
Publication
Oxford,
Subject
Chemistry
Biology
Source (journal)
Ecology letters. - Oxford, 1998, currens
Volume/pages
16(2013):5, p. 635-641
ISSN
1461-023X
ISI
000318077200008
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Conservationists often advocate for landscape approaches to wildlife management while others argue for physical separation between protected species and human communities, but direct empirical comparisons of these alternatives are scarce. We relate African lion population densities and population trends to contrasting management practices across 42 sites in 11 countries. Lion populations in fenced reserves are significantly closer to their estimated carrying capacities than unfenced populations. Whereas fenced reserves can maintain lions at 80% of their potential densities on annual management budgets of $500km2, unfenced populations require budgets in excess of $2000km2 to attain half their potential densities. Lions in fenced reserves are primarily limited by density dependence, but lions in unfenced reserves are highly sensitive to human population densities in surrounding communities, and unfenced populations are frequently subjected to density-independent factors. Nearly half the unfenced lion populations may decline to near extinction over the next 2040years.
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