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1 December 2009 Feasibility of Using Proximity Tags to Locate Female Lion Panthera leo Kills
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Abstract

Global positioning system (GPS) based telemetry studies are becoming more popular in large carnivore research. Recent advancements include detection and prediction of kill sites from GPS collar data. Thus far, the majority of models to detect kill sites focus on the patterns generated by a single focal individual. The prediction of kill sites helps increase sample sizes for diet studies of carnivores, especially when continuous observation methods cannot be employed. We propose and report on the feasibility of using the spatial association of multiple individuals from a social carnivore group to locate kill sites, using female lions Panthera leo in the Kruger National Park, South Africa, as an example. Our feasibility study suggests that lionesses cluster in space while at a GPS cluster with a kill. Clustering appeared most strongly in the first two hours of a kill, whereafter a more random association between individuals in space is observed. Additionally we found no difference in the initial spatial clustering pattern for kills of different sizes. When clusters are not associated with a kill (i.e. resting), female lions exhibit the random spatial association similar to the later hours found at kill sites. We feel that based on the initial results, association of social carnivores in space in combination with current spatio-temporal patterns of focal individuals can be used to improve kill-site models, but further research and larger sample sizes are required to validate our findings.

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Craig J. Tambling and Lydia E. Belton "Feasibility of Using Proximity Tags to Locate Female Lion Panthera leo Kills," Wildlife Biology 15(4), 435-441, (1 December 2009). https://doi.org/10.2981/09-029
Received: 3 April 2009; Accepted: 1 September 2009; Published: 1 December 2009
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