alexa Using citizen-based survey data to determine densities of large mammals: a case study from Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe
Agri and Aquaculture

Agri and Aquaculture

Poultry, Fisheries & Wildlife Sciences

Author(s): Kevin M Dunham, Andrew J du Toit

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Since 1993, members of the national wildlife society have undertaken annual surveys of large mammals in the Zambezi alluvial woodlands of Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe. Data are collected along 36 systematically-arranged transects. We provide the first thorough assessment of the data from any survey within this long-term project. The transect data from 2011 were analysed with DISTANCE software to assess if the data were suitable for determining the densities of large mammals using distance sampling techniques. Successful application of distance sampling depended on observers using printed, large-scale, georeferenced satellite images onto which they mapped the location of animal groups detected. The assumptions of the distance sampling were well met and thus the 2011 survey provided reliable estimates of the densities of nine species of common large mammals on the Zambezi alluvium during the late dry season. Estimated density in this dry-season concentration area varied from 3.6 km−2 for kudu, to 204 km−2 for impala. The precision of the estimates ranged from a coefficient of variation of 7.9% for elephant, to 25.5% for buffalo. For elephant, warthog and baboon, the morning and afternoon densities differed significantly.

This article was published in African journal of Ecology and referenced in Poultry, Fisheries & Wildlife Sciences

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