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The nine lives of a threatened felid in a human-dominated landscape: assessing population decline drivers of the guiña (Leopardus guigna)

Gálvez, Nicolás (2015) The nine lives of a threatened felid in a human-dominated landscape: assessing population decline drivers of the guiña (Leopardus guigna). Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:56643)

Language: English
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The world's human population and an expanding agricultural frontier are exerting increasing pressure on the Earth's systems that sustain life resulting in unprecedented levels of biodiversity loss. Carnivores, which play a key role in ecosystem function and integrity, are also particularly threatened by habitat loss and killing by humans in response to livestock predation. At the same time carnivores, particularly felids show a paucity of studies that suggests population assessments and long-term monitoring is an urgent matter. This thesis looks the how habitat loss, fragmentation and human persecution affects predators in an agricultural landscape with particular focus on a species of conservation concern: the small felid guiña (Leopardus guigna) considered vulnerable with a declining population trend. A cost-effective survey framework was developed, which shows existence of trade-offs for researchers and managers to improve population assessments. The drivers of decline of the guiña are assessed with an extensive camera-trap data set showing that the guiña can tolerate a high degree of habitat loss in agricultural land but requires the existence of large farms and high number of forest patches. Retribution killing does not seem to be a significant extinction driver, although there is uncertainty regarding the impact on the population. However, killing behaviour by farmers is predicted by encounters suggesting that poultry management is an effective mitigation measure. Predator specific predictors of killing by farmers were observed but a commonality to all is that knowledge of legal protection does not explain killing suggesting other measures must be taken. Integrating ecological and social knowledge allows us to tease apart the relative importance of different potential extinction pressures effectively and make informed recommendations as to where future conservation efforts should be prioritised.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Davis, Zoe
Uncontrolled keywords: elusive species, imperfect detection, species management, threatened species, wildlife monitoring,camera-trap surveys, conservation, habitat fragmentation, habitat loss, human persecution, Leopardus guigna, occupancy dynamics, random response technique, retribution killing
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: Users 1 not found.
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2016 09:40 UTC
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2022 03:05 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Gálvez, Nicolás.

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