How facultative scavenging shapes the African large carnivore guild.

Project: PhD

Project Details


Interspecific interactions are a key component of large carnivore communities. However, little is known about the role of carrion and scavenging in shaping these interactions. By attracting dominant carnivores, carrion may influence the landscape of fear of subordinate carnivores, thus potentially triggering important behavioural effects with wide ecological, evolutionary and conservation implications. My main aim is to assess how facultative scavenging contributes to shaping the structure and functioning of the African large carnivore guild in Maasai Mara, Kenya, a strongly seasonal environment characterized by ungulate massive migration. In particular, I will I) describe the size-structured predator-prey web in the study area and compare it to other African systems, II) quantify ungulate populations and their carcasses, III) estimate the predation-scavenging trade-off of large carnivores, IV) explore the interactions among large carnivores at ungulate carcass sites, and V) determine whether avoidance of carcass sites by subordinate carnivores is reactive or predictive.
Effective start/end date1/10/22 → …


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