Borrowing from Peter to pay Paul: managing threatened predators of endangered and declining prey species
MacDonald, Suzanne E.
Doncaster, C Patrick
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Conservation policy and practice can sometimes run counter to their mutual aims of ensuring species survival. In Kenya, where threatened predators such as lion deplete endangered prey such as Grevy’s zebra, conservation practitioners seek to ensure species success through exclusive strategies of protection, population increase and preservation. We found strong selection for the endangered Grevy’s zebra by both lion and hyena on two small fenced conservancies in Kenya. Despite abundant diversity of available prey, Grevy’s zebra were selected disproportionately more than their availability, while other highly available species such as buffalo were avoided. Lions were therefore not alone in presenting a credible threat to Grevy’s zebra survival. Conservation practitioners must consider interlinked characteristics of prey selection, resource availability and quality, the interplay between carnivore guild members and landscape scale population trends performance in wildlife management decisions.
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