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Estimating population sizes of lions Panthera leo and spotted hyaenas Crocuta crocuta in Uganda’s savannah parks, using lure count methods

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Abstract

Despite > 60 years of conservation in Uganda’s national parks the populations of lions and spotted hyaenas in these areas have never been estimated using a census method. Estimates for some sites have been extrapolated to other protected areas and educated guesses have been made but there has been nothing more definitive. We used a lure count analysis method of call-up counts to estimate populations of the lion Panthera leo and spotted hyaena Crocuta crocuta in the parks where reasonable numbers of these species exist: Queen Elizabeth Protected Area, Murchison Falls Conservation Area and Kidepo Valley National Park. We estimated a total of 408 lions and 324 hyaenas for these three conservation areas. It is unlikely that other conservation areas in Uganda host >10 lions or > 40 hyaenas. The Queen Elizabeth Protected Area had the largest populations of lions and hyaenas: 140 and 211, respectively. It is estimated that lion numbers have declined by 30% in this protected area since the late 1990s and there are increasing concerns for the long-term viability of both species in Uganda.
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394-401
Number of pages8
JournalOryx
Volume48
Early online date24 Oct 2013
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2014

    Research areas

  • Call-up census, Hyaenas, Lions, Lure count, Population estimation, Uganda

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