Incorporating mortality into habitat selection to identify secure and risky habitats for savannah elephants

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dc.contributor.author Roever, Carrie Lynn
dc.contributor.author Van Aarde, Rudi J.
dc.contributor.author Chase, M.J.
dc.date.accessioned 2013-09-26T08:04:28Z
dc.date.available 2013-09-26T08:04:28Z
dc.date.issued 2013
dc.description.abstract Empirical models of habitat selection are increasingly used to guide and inform habitat-based management plans for wildlife species. However, habitat selection does not necessarily equate to habitat quality particularly if selection is maladaptive, so incorporating measures of fitness into estimations of occurrence is necessary to increase model robustness. Here, we incorporated spatially explicit mortality events with the habitat selection of elephants to predict secure and risky habitats in northern Botswana. Following a two-step approach, we first predict the relative probability of use and the relative probability of mortality based on landscape features using logistic regression models. Combining these two indices, we then identified low mortality and high use (primary habitat) and areas of high mortality and high use (primary risk). We found that mortalities of adult elephants were closely associated with anthropogenic features, with 80% of mortalities occurring within 25 km of people. Conversely, elephant habitat selection was highest at distances of 30–50 km from people. Primary habitat for elephants occurred in the central portion of the study area and within the Okavango Delta; whereas risky areas occurred along the periphery near humans. The protected designation of an area had less influence on the proportion of prime habitat therein than did the locations of the area in relation to human development. Elephant management in southern Africa is moving towards a more self-sustaining, habitat-based approach, and information on selection and mortality could serve as a baseline to help identify demographic sources and sinks to stabilize elephant demography. en
dc.description.librarian hb2013 en
dc.description.librarian ab2013
dc.description.sponsorship Elephants Without Borders, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, and the University of Pretoria.The aerial survey was sanctioned and supported by the Botswana Department of Wildlife and National Parks, through a grant administered by the Conservation Trust Fund (CTF/2010/56). Additional funding was received from the Zoological Society of San Diego. en
dc.description.uri http://www.elsevier.com/locate/biocon en
dc.identifier.citation Roever, CL, Van Aarde, RJ & Chase, MJ 2013, 'Incorporating mortality into habitat selection to identify secure and risky habitats for savannah elephants', Biological Conservation, vol. 164, no. 8, pp. 98-106. en
dc.identifier.issn 0006-3207 (print)
dc.identifier.issn 1873-2917 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.1016/j.biocon.2013.04.006
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/31820
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Elsevier en
dc.rights © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Notice : this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Biological Conservation.Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Biological Conservation, vol. 164, no. 8, 2013, doi : 10.1016/j.biocon.2013.04.006 en
dc.subject African savannah elephant en
dc.subject Anthropogenic features en
dc.subject Habitat quality en
dc.subject Habitat selection en
dc.subject Mortality en
dc.subject Source and sink en
dc.subject.lcsh Elephants en
dc.subject.lcsh Loxodonta en
dc.subject.lcsh Habitat selection en
dc.subject.lcsh Animal ecology en
dc.title Incorporating mortality into habitat selection to identify secure and risky habitats for savannah elephants en
dc.type Postprint Article en


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