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Modelling Multi-Species Connectivity at the Kafue-Zambezi Interface: Implications for Transboundary Carnivore Conservation

Lines, Robin, Bormpoudakis, Dimitrios, Xofis, Panteleimon, Tzanopoulos, Joseph (2021) Modelling Multi-Species Connectivity at the Kafue-Zambezi Interface: Implications for Transboundary Carnivore Conservation. Sustainability, 13 (22). p. 12886. ISSN 2071-1050. (doi:10.3390/su132212886) (KAR id:92767)

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Linking wildlife areas with corridors facilitating species dispersal between core habitats

is a key intervention to reduce the deleterious effects of population isolation. Large heterogeneous

networks of areas managed for wildlife protection present site- and species-scale complexity underpinning the scope and performance of proposed corridors. In Southern Africa, the Kavango-Zambezi

Transfrontier Conservation Area seeks to link Kafue National Park to a cluster of wildlife areas

centered in Namibia and Botswana. To assess and identify potential linkages on the Zambian side,

we generated a high-resolution land cover map and combined empirical occurrence data for Lions

(Panthera leo), Leopards (Panthera pardus) and Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta) to build habitat suitability maps. We then developed four connectivity models to map potential single and multi-species

corridors between Kafue and the Zambezi River border with Namibia. Single and multi-species

connectivity models selected corridors follow broadly similar pathways narrowing significantly in

central-southern areas of the Kafue-Zambezi interface, indicating a potential connectivity bottleneck.

Capturing the full extent of human disturbance and barriers to connectivity remains challenging,

suggesting increased risk to corridor integrity than modelled here. Notwithstanding model limitations, these data provide important results for land use planners at the Kafue-Zambezi Interface,

removing much speculations from existing connectivity narratives. Failure to control human disturbance and secure corridors will leave Kafue National Park, Zambia’s majority component in the

Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area, isolated.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.3390/su132212886
Uncontrolled keywords: KAZA; Linkage Mapper; MaxEnt; Transfrontier Conservation
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Joseph Tzanopoulos
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2022 14:25 UTC
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2022 14:25 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Tzanopoulos, Joseph:
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