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Serengeti IVSustaining biodiversity in a coupled human-natural system$
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Anthony R. E. Sinclair, Kristine L. Metzger, Simon A. R. Mduma, and John M. Fryxell

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226195834

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226196336.001.0001

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Carnivore Communities in the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem

Carnivore Communities in the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem

(p.419) Fifteen Carnivore Communities in the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem
Serengeti IV

Meggan E. Craft

Katie Hampson

Joseph O. Ogutu

Sarah M. Durant

University of Chicago Press

The Serengeti-Mara ecosystem harbors a rich community of carnivores, and we are making gains to understand their ecology and distribution. In this system seasonality is important in driving many of the large carnivores’ movements and abundance patterns, while the distribution of all carnivores is also influenced by the availability of their preferred habitats in the ecosystem. However, even in an ecosystem the size of the Serengeti, carnivores are still influenced by the impacts of humans. Human activities, particularly from higher density agropastoralist populations, severely impact the structure and composition of carnivore assemblages, with far-reaching consequences. Agropastoralist areas likely act as sinks for wide-ranging larger bodied carnivore species and potentially as sources for opportunistic omnivorous species, whereas carnivore guilds are more complete and diverse in pastoralist areas—further confirming their conservation value. Long-term trends in abundance can be detected using the methods we present here, and future cross-disciplinary research needs to be implemented to determine the drivers of these trends (for example, in our case, declines in golden jackal abundance).

Keywords:   agropastoral, carnivore management, ecosystem, carnivore species

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