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Leopard dispersal across a fragmented landscape in the Western Cape, South Africa

Wilkinson, Anita; Fabricius, Michael; Brink, Erica; Garbett, Rebecca; Hahndiek, Eugene; Williams, Kathryn S.

Authors

Anita Wilkinson

Michael Fabricius

Erica Brink

Rebecca Garbett

Eugene Hahndiek



Abstract

Leopard (Panthera pardus) dispersal is poorly documented. An amalgamation of independent, mixed-method camera trap data spanning six years provides evidence of male leopard dispersal across the highly fragmented Overberg region, Western Cape, South Africa. Dispersal distances from four individuals ranged from 35.3 to 112.0 km between the origin and destination datapoints. Leopard dispersal across the modified landscape affirms their adaptability and resilience and reveals local functional connectivity. We caution against population status complacency but rather advocate for maintaining and improving functional landscape connectivity for this umbrella species. This study, which collated piecemeal data from four sources, highlights the importance of collaboration and data sharing in conservation.

Citation

Wilkinson, A., Fabricius, M., Brink, E., Garbett, R., Hahndiek, E., & Williams, K. S. (2024). Leopard dispersal across a fragmented landscape in the Western Cape, South Africa. African Journal of Ecology, 62(3), Article e13284. https://doi.org/10.1111/aje.13284

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 16, 2024
Online Publication Date Jun 17, 2024
Publication Date 2024-09
Deposit Date Jul 8, 2024
Journal African Journal of Ecology
Print ISSN 0141-6707
Electronic ISSN 1365-2028
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 62
Issue 3
Article Number e13284
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/aje.13284
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/2521484