Baseline results of the 5 th Wild Dog & 3 rd Cheetah Photographic Census of Greater Kruger National Park

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1 Baseline results of the 5 th Wild Dog & 3 rd Cheetah Photographic Census of Greater Kruger National Park H. T. Davies-Mostert 1, M. Burger 1, M.G.L. Mills 2, M. Somers 3, M. Hofmeyr 4 & S. Ferreira 5 1 Carnivore Conservation Group, Endangered Wildlife Trust, Johannesburg 2 Tony & LisetteLewis Foundation, KgalagadiCheetah Project 3 Centre for Wildlife Management, University of Pretoria 4 Veterinary Wildlife Services, South African National Parks 5 Scientific Services, South African National Parks Grant Beverley, RoxBrummer, Wendy Collinson, Kelly Marnewick, Christine Mentzel, Mariana Venter

2 Regional Conservation Context Wild dogs listed as Endangered and cheetahs as Vulnerable on IUCN Red Data List Cheetahs are listed on CITES I; trade also thought to compromise wild populations of wild dogs Regional strategic planning workshop in Jwaneng(IUCN, 2007). List of strategic objectives: capacity development, knowledge and information, information transfer, coexistence, land use, political commitment, policy & legislation Regional maps

3 Cheetahs SOURCE: IUCN/SSC (2007). Regional Conservation Strategy for the Cheetah and African Wild Dog in Southern Africa. IUCN Species Survival Commission: Gland. Switzerland

4 Wild dogs SOURCE: IUCN/SSC (2007). Regional Conservation Strategy for the Cheetah and African Wild Dog in Southern Africa. IUCN Species Survival Commission: Gland. Switzerland

5 National Conservation Context Wild dogs: ~370 individuals (Lindsey & Davies-Mostert, in prep.) KNP and surrounds contains largest contiguous protected population in SA Cheetahs: ~ individuals (various sources) Farmlands might be a sink for larger populations and the rest of the sub-region (Lindsey et al. 2009) Both species listed on TOPS National Conservation Action Plan 2009 BMP-S ?

6 SANParksContext Priority species Threatened Biota Objective aims to: Prevent extinction within the Kruger Park of any species on the IUCN s global critically endangered or endangered lists Work with other conservation initiatives to secure and strengthen the future of such species over their historic distribution ranges Conservation plans for rare and threatened species: KNP is the only NP with resident wild dog population (Kgalakgadi = transient groups) Cheetahs represented in NP network but most populations are small and unlikely to be viable Top-order predators contribute to functional diversity of ecosystems

7 Population Studies Wild dogs SANParks/ EWT census at 5-year intervals 1989, 1995, 2000, 2005 Standardised minimum count method (Maddock& Mills 1994) Longitudinal study in southern KNP (Creel et al. 2004) Cheetahs Pienaar 1969 Bowland 1990/1991 Kemp & Mills 2005 (wild dog ANDcheetah) Census 2009 Pushed forward 1 year

8 The Photographic Method Left or right sides Other identifiable body parts

9 Public Participation 8-16 months 1 January

10 Study Areas Northern District North of Olifants River 11,102 km 2 Central District Between Sabie& Olifants Rivers 6,192 km 2 * incorporating private reserves on western boundary Southern District Between Crocodile & Sabie Rivers 4,057 km 2

11 Advantages Useful for species that are identifiable and visible (e.g. diurnal, pack living, etc.) Data are available across vast areas in short period Used since 1989 temporal comparisons Generates public awareness of conservation issues Promotes sense of participation / stewardship among general public

12 Minimum Counts

13 By Region: Wild Dogs South Central North Total MPS 1989 Individuals Packs Individuals Packs Individuals Packs Individuals Packs Individuals Packs

14 By Region: Wild Dogs

15 Number of Entries

16 By Region: Cheetahs South Central North Total 2005 Males Females Cubs Unsexed TOTAL Males Females Cubs Unsexed TOTAL NOTE: Many animals seen only once

17 Disadvantages Unquantifiable search effort E.g. Number of visitors, penetration of road network, etc. Reliance on non-expert reports (inaccuracy) Element of trust Administratively onerous Database management, PR, etc. No confidence intervals around estimates Confounded by inconsistent photo capture Problem for all photographic methods

18 Risks of error H 0 : Animal has been identified previously H 1 : Animal has not been identified Type I Overestimation of population size Type II Underestimation of population size

19 Statistical Methods Rarefaction (Krebs 1999) Variance and SD on cumulative curves Capture-recapture Open model Detection: Capture probability (p) Survival probability (ɸ) HETEROGENOUS

20 Sources of heterogeneity Category Covariate Type Survey effort Location (Region: N, C, S) Tourism season (Peak / Off-peak) PR interventions (Katie & Wayne) Biological Detection Age (denningpacks, females with cubs, etc) Group size Group ID (exposure to road network: location of range, scent marking posts, den sites, etc) Habitat density Individual Time Time Individual & time Individual Individual Individual & time Currently developing appropriate models for each species WATCH THIS SPACE

21 Implications & Recommendations Baseline (minimum count) data suggest that both wild dog cheetahs numbers have been low for past 10 years Genetic studies suggest bottleneck (J. Edwards, submitted MSc) Possible causes: Rainfall: 1995 = unusual peak? (Buettner et al J. Zool272: 10-19) Disease? (Ginsberg et al Proc R Soc Lond B262: ) Increased edge effects? (Woodroffe& Ginsberg 1998 Science 280: ) Alleeeffects in combination with others? Others...?

22 Implications & Recommendations Continued longitudinal studies Comparative studies in North / South Demography Spatial ecology, intraguild interactions, etc Disease surveys Connectivity to regional population networks Gene flow Western Boundary Project Historical sighting and photographic records Threat analysis (attitudes, land-use, road network, etc.) KNP as source? Manage SA populations as one unit?

23 Thank you! All contributors to the photographic census Grant Beverley, Rox Brummer, Wendy Collinson Kelly Marnewick, Christine Mentzel, Mariana Venter

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