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Monday, January 29 • 4:40pm - 5:00pm
CARNIVORES: Comparisons of Large Carnivore Spoor Density in the Ngamiland and Mababe Regions of Botswana from 2016 to 2017

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AUTHORS. Heather Foster, Madeline Abbatacola, Scott Hyngstrom - Wisconsin Center for Wildlife, University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point; Christiaan Winterbach, Tau Consultants

ABSTRACT. For effective conservation management, population densities of large carnivores are needed. Along with this, a baseline monitoring system needs to be in place as a reference and control to compare fluctuations in a population. Large carnivore densities are extremely important for understanding the interspecies relationships in specific areas. Not only are the animals living on the landscape affected by the presence of large carnivores but the human populations as well. Living in areas occupied by large carnivores presents unique challenges which local people can benefit from the knowledge of which species and their populations are present. Better agricultural techniques, public safety precautions, and an ecotourism industry can be established. The continuous need for large carnivore management leads us to use the noninvasive techniques of distance sampling and spoor counts of large carnivores, to acquire the population density estimates. We chose to use noninvasive spoor counts because it was inexpensive and capable of repetition. In the Mababe region of northern Botswana two transects were run each day with a professional, local tracker. The spoor found was examined to determine the identity and later recorded using the data management application, Cyber Tracker. This was downloaded into ArcGIS and Excel for analysis. While we only have two years of previous data, this study will serve as an integral step in creating a baseline monitoring system for large carnivore densities. 

Monday January 29, 2018 4:40pm - 5:00pm CST