Spatiotemporal dynamics of wild herbivore species richness and occupancy across a savannah rangeland: Implications for conservation

Ramiro D. Crego*, Joseph O. Ogutu, Harry B.M. Wells, Gordon O. Ojwang, Dino J. Martins, Peter Leimgruber, Jared A. Stabach

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

15 Citaten (Scopus)
95 Downloads (Pure)


Private lands are critical for maintaining biodiversity beyond protected areas. Across Kenyan rangelands, wild herbivores frequently coexist with people and their livestock. Human population and livestock numbers are projected to increase dramatically over the coming decades. Therefore, a better understanding of wildlife-livestock interactions and their consequences for biodiversity conservation on private lands is needed. We used a Bayesian hierarchical, multi-species and multi-year occupancy model on aerial survey data of 15 wild-herbivore species, spanning 15 years (2001–2016) to investigate a) spatiotemporal trends in species occurrence and richness across a mosaic of properties with different land uses in Laikipia County, central Kenya; and b) the effects of distance to water, vegetation and livestock relative abundance on species occurrence and richness. Although mean herbivore species richness varied little over time, we observed high spatial variation in species occurrence across Laikipia, mainly driven by negative effects of high livestock relative abundance. As expected, ‘wildlife friendly’ properties had higher herbivore species richness than other areas. However, high variability suggests that some pastoral properties support rich herbivore communities. The area occupied by five species with global conservation concerns (reticulated giraffe, Grevy's zebra, Beisa Oryx, Defassa waterbuck and gerenuk) and for which Laikipia County is one of the last refuges was <50% across years. We conclude that ‘wildlife friendly’ properties remain crucial for conservation, although some pastoralist areas offer suitable habitats for wild herbivores. Effective management of stocking rates is critical for maintaining ecosystems able to sustain livestock and wildlife on private lands, ensuring protection for endangered species.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's10
TijdschriftBiological Conservation
StatusPublished - 1-feb.-2020

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