Changes in lion (Panthera leo) home range size in Waza National Park, Cameroon

P.N. Tumenta, M. Van't Zelfde, B.M. Croes, R. Buij, P.J. Funston, H.A.U. de Haes, H.H. De longh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The spatial ecology of Africa lions (Panthera leo) was studied from 2007 to 2009 in Waza National Park, Cameroon, by equipping individual lions with GPS/VHF radio-collars. Mean home range estimates using 100% minimum convex polygons (MCP) and 95% kernel-density estimation (KDE) were respectively 1015 km2 and 641 km2. The lions spent a considerable amount of time out of the park during the study period (21%), resulting in significantly larger wet season home ranges than in the hot dry season when they were largely within the park. Time spent outside of the park coincided with increased livestock predation, especially by males. The seasonal variation observed in home range appeared to be mainly due to prey dispersal, flooding and migrating livestock. Mean home range size was observed to have increased by 58.6% within the last decade. This observed increase in home range could possibly be attributed to recent declines in wild prey abundance and also, may be indicative of a trend of general degradation of the park due to intense human pressure. The change observed in lions’ ranging behaviour was remarkable, with lions crossing the highway parallel to the park to the Cameroon-Nigerian borders. Measures to restore the integrity of the park are urgently needed, which could include the construction of a partial fence along the western boundary of the park to prevent lions moving across the parallel highway.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-469
JournalMammalian Biology - Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde
Volume78
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • carnivore conservation
  • social-behavior
  • africa
  • savanna
  • ecology
  • west

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