Connect with us

Conservation Africa News Magazine | African Wildlife & Conservation News

Conservation Africa News Magazine | African Wildlife & Conservation News

Conservation Africa News – African lion counts miss the mark, but new method shows promise

Conservation Africa News – African lion counts miss the mark, but new method shows promise


Conservation Africa News

Conservation Africa News – African lion counts miss the mark, but new method shows promise

A young male lion named Jacob stands in the branches of a large sycamore fig tree in the Ishasha region of Uganda. Credit: Alex Braczkowski The current technique used for counting lion populations for research and conservation efforts doesn’t add up, according to a University of Queensland researcher. But UQ Ph.D. candidate Mr Alexander Braczkowski…

Conservation Africa News – African lion counts miss the mark, but new method shows promise

Conservation Africa News –

Conservation Africa News - African lion counts miss the mark, but new method shows promise
A young male lion named Jacob stands in the branches of a large sycamore fig tree in the Ishasha region of Uganda. Credit: Alex Braczkowski

The current technique used for counting lion populations for research and conservation efforts doesn’t add up, according to a University of Queensland researcher.

But UQ Ph.D. candidate Mr Alexander Braczkowski has been investigating new methods of photographing and data analytics to count lions that could be more widely used.

“African lions receive immense publicity and conservation attention,” Mr Braczkowski said. “Yet their populations are thought to have experienced a 50 percent decline since 1994—coincidentally the same year Disney’s The Lion King was released. Current calculations suggest that between 20,000 and 30,000 lions remain in the wild—scattered among 102 populations across approximately 2.5 million square kilometers of Africa.”

He adds, “Our research shows that the majority of estimates on African lion population and density are based on track counts, audio lure surveys and expert solicitation—which are simply not reliable enough to understand how lion populations are doing over time.”

According to Mr Braczkowski, a recently developed technique has shown promise in better counting big cats and understanding their movements.

“It involves driving extensively and searching actively for lions, and then taking high quality photographs to individually identify them and noting their locations,” Mr Braczkowski said. “We use an analytical method known as Spatially Explicit Capture-Recapture (SECR). For African lions, it was first applied in the Maasai Mara by Dr. Nicholas Elliot and Dr. Arjun Gopalaswamy, and has now been adopted by the Kenya Wildlife Service and others to survey lions and other carnivores across the country.”

Mr Braczkowski and his colleagues have trialed the technique to better understand the status and density of lions in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth Conservation Area.

“This was the perfect place to use this novel approach since lions at Queen Elizabeth spend a lot of their time up in trees and it is relatively straightforward to get good pictures of them,” Mr Braczkowski said. “Due to this unique tree-climbing behavior, managers and tourists at this park very frequently see lions. But, our study showed that these lions are now moving more and have larger home range sizes compared to a previous study conducted about a decade ago.”

Dr. Arjun Gopalaswamy, a co-author and science advisor to the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Global Programs said, since larger home range sizes in big cats are usually associated with reduced density due to poorer prey availability, this is a concerning trend.

“There’s great value in using methods that keep track of lion populations directly and we urge conservation and research communities to cease using ad hoc, indirect methods and shift to more reliable and direct methods.”

The research has been published in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution.



More information:
Alex Braczkowski et al. Restoring Africa’s Lions: Start With Good Counts, Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution (2020). DOI: 10.3389/fevo.2020.00138

The Most Powerful Sale & Affiliate Platform Available!

There's no credit card required! No fees ever.

Create Your Free Account Now!

Citation:
African lion counts miss the mark, but new method shows promise (2020, June 18)
retrieved 5 July 2020
from https://phys.org/news/2020-06-african-lion-method.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Subscribe to the newsletter news

We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Conservation Africa News

Conservation Africa News – African lion counts miss the mark, but new method shows promise

The current technique used for counting lion populations for research and conservation efforts doesn’t add up, according to a University of Queensland researcher. But UQ PhD candidate Mr Alexander Braczkowski has been investigating new methods of photographing and reviewing data analytics to count lions. “African lions receive immense publicity and conservation attention,” Mr Braczkowski said.…

Conservation Africa News –

The current technique used for counting lion populations for research and conservation efforts doesn’t add up, according to a University of Queensland researcher.

But UQ PhD candidate Mr Alexander Braczkowski has been investigating new methods of photographing and reviewing data analytics to count lions.

“African lions receive immense publicity and conservation attention,” Mr Braczkowski said.

“Yet their populations are thought to have experienced a 50 per cent decline since 1994 — coincidentally the same year Disney’s The Lion King was released.

“Current calculations suggest that between 20,000 and 30,000 lions remain in the wild — scattered among 102 populations across approximately 2.5 million square kilometres of Africa.

“Our research shows that the majority of estimates on African lion population and density are based on track counts, audio lure surveys and expert solicitation — which are simply not reliable enough to understand how lion populations are doing over time.”

According to Mr Braczkowski, a recently developed technique has shown promise in better counting big cats and understanding their movements.

“It involves driving extensively and searching actively for lions, and then taking high quality photographs to individually identify them and noting their locations,” Mr Braczkowski said.

“We use an analytical method known as Spatially Explicit Capture-Recapture (SECR).

“For African lions, it was first applied in the Maasai Mara by Dr Nicholas Elliot and Dr Arjun Gopalaswamy, and has now been adopted by the Kenya Wildlife Service and others to survey lions and other carnivores across the country.”

Mr Braczkowski and his colleagues have trialled the technique to better understand the status and density of lions in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth Conservation Area.

“This was the perfect place to use this novel approach since lions at Queen Elizabeth spend a lot of their time up in trees and it is relatively straightforward to get good pictures of them,” Mr Braczkowski said.

“Due to this unique tree-climbing behaviour, managers and tourists at this park very frequently see lions.

“But, our study showed that these lions are now moving more and have larger home range sizes compared to a previous study conducted about a decade ago

Dr Arjun Gopalaswamy, a co-author and science advisor to the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Global Programs said, since larger home range sizes in big cats are usually associated with reduced density due to poorer prey availability, this is a concerning trend.

“There’s great value in using methods that keep track of lion populations directly and we urge conservation and research communities to cease using ad hoc, indirect methods and shift to more reliable and direct methods.”

Story Source:

The Most Powerful Sale & Affiliate Platform Available!

There's no credit card required! No fees ever.

Create Your Free Account Now!

Materials provided by University of Queensland. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Subscribe to the newsletter news

We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Top Stories

Importance of Wildlife Conservation

Conservation Awareness

Importance of Wildlife Conservation

By July 30, 2020
Wildlife Conservation Volunteer - Caring For Native Wildlife
Wildlife Conservation Awareness – Congress wants to fix public lands. It’s just a bandage on the wounds Trump caused | Sally Jewell and Ken Salazar
Wildlife Conservation Awareness – Times Evoke: ‘Our apathy threatens biodiversity’
Wildlife Conservation Awareness – U.S. Congress approves conservation bill
Wildlife Conservation Awareness – Black Rhino Academy / NLÉ
Wildlife Conservation Awareness – This 12-year-old bottle terrarium is teeming with lush life
Wildlife Conservation Awareness – Animals Appreciate Recent Traffic Lull
Wildlife Conservation Awareness – As New York COVID-19 Hospitalizations Drop, Gov. Cuomo Urges Vigilance
Wildlife Conservation Awareness – Rewilding immunology
Wildlife Conservation Awareness – Grizzly bears in the dark as they try to share living space with humans: study – Airdrie Today
Wildlife Conservation Awareness – Maharashtra: Tillari area in Sindhudurg declared conservation reserve
Wildlife Conservation Awareness – Scientists call for pandemic investigations to focus on wildlife trade
Wildlife Conservation Awareness – Scientists call for pandemic investigations to focus on wildlife trade

Tags

Wildlife Conservation Jobs – Trump Signs $3 Billion-a-Year Great American Outdoors Act to Bolster Conservation, National Parks
Wildlife Conservation Jobs – How to Volunteer Internationally Without Traveling
Importance of Wildlife Conservation

Conservation Awareness

Importance of Wildlife Conservation

By July 30, 2020
Conservation Africa News – Friday Five with Olubunmi Adeyemi
Wildlife Conservation Society – Does it pay to protect nature? A new study weighs in – Reuters.com
Wildlife Conservation Volunteer - Caring For Native Wildlife
Conservation Africa News – Botswana finds more dead elephants, says test results due this week – Reuters
Conservation Africa News – Daily briefing: “The pandemic is gaining full momentum” in Africa
Corona Virus Outbreak
Conservation Africa News – Timeline: How the coronavirus pandemic unfolded – Reuters India
Wildlife Conservation Society – David Attenborough in appeal to save charity behind London Zoo – Reuters
Conservation Africa News – Pangolin protectors, an inflatable lab and young stars — June’s best science images
Conservation Africa News – Listening to nature: Notes from Session 1 of TED2020
Wildlife Conservation Awareness – Congress wants to fix public lands. It’s just a bandage on the wounds Trump caused | Sally Jewell and Ken Salazar
Conservation Africa News – One Tree Planted And The Jane Goodall Institute Announce Partnership On Critical Restoration Project In Africa
To Top