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The reintroduction of large carnivores to the Eastern Cape, South Africa: an assessment

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 May 2007

Matt W. Hayward*
Affiliation:
Centre for African Conservation Ecology, Department of Zoology, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, PO Box 77000, Port Elizabeth, 6031, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Graham I. H. Kerley
Affiliation:
Centre for African Conservation Ecology, Department of Zoology, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, PO Box 77000, Port Elizabeth, 6031, Eastern Cape, South Africa
John Adendorff
Affiliation:
Addo Elephant National Park, PO Box 52, Addo, 6105, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Lucius C. Moolman
Affiliation:
Addo Elephant National Park, PO Box 52, Addo, 6105, Eastern Cape, South Africa
John O'Brien
Affiliation:
Shamwari Game Reserve, PO Box 91, Paterson, 6130, and Rhodes University, Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Angus Sholto-Douglas
Affiliation:
Kwandwe Game Reserve, PO Box 448, Grahamstown, 6140, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Charlene Bissett
Affiliation:
Kwandwe Game Reserve, PO Box 448, Grahamstown, 6140, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Peter Bean
Affiliation:
Scotia Safaris, Paterson, 6130, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Alan Fogarty
Affiliation:
Kariega Game Reserve, PO Box 13900, Humewood, 6013, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Dale Howarth
Affiliation:
Pumba Private Game Reserve, 29-10th Avenue, Walmer, 6070, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Richard Slater
Affiliation:
Samara Game Reserve, Graaff Reinet, South Africa
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Abstract

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Recently, conservation estate in South Africa's Eastern Cape Province has increased 10-fold resulting in large predators being increasingly reintroduced to restore ecological integrity and maximize tourism. We describe the reintroductions of large carnivores (>10 kg) that have occurred in the Eastern Cape and use various criteria to assess their success. Lion Panthera leo reintroduction has been highly successful with a population of 56 currently extant in the region and problems of overpopulation arising. The African wild dog Lycaon pictus population has increased to 24 from a founder population of 11. Preliminary results for spotted hyaenas Crocuta crocuta also indicate success. Wild populations of leopards Panthera pardus exist on several reserves and have been supplemented by translocated individuals, although deaths of known individuals have occurred and no estimate of reproduction is available. Cheetah Acinonyx jubatus reintroduction has also been less successful with 36 individuals reintroduced and 23 cubs being born but only 41 individuals surviving in 2005. Criteria for assessing the success of reintroductions of species that naturally occur in low densities, such as top predators, generally have limited value. Carrying capacity for large predators is unknown and continued monitoring and intensive management will be necessary in enclosed, and possibly all, conservation areas in the Eastern Cape to ensure conservation success.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Fauna and Flora International 2007
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Hayward Supplementary Material

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