Movement, activity and hunting behaviour of leopards in the Cederberg mountains, South Africa

Quinton E Martins, Stephen Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Few data are available on the behaviour of leopards in the absence of competing large predators and human impact, both of which are believed to influence leopard activity and movements. Remote camera traps and global positioning system (GPS) collars were used to quantify leopard activity in the Cederberg Mountains, seasonal and sexual differences
in their movements, and determine whether nocturnal hunting success was related to lunar activity. Seventy-seven per cent of camera-trap photographs were at night, with a strong male bias (69%) in captures. Daily displacement using one location per day suggested that males moved significantly further than females. However, multiple locations (6 per day) showed no difference because males moved in a more linear fashion, but not further each day, than females. In the Cederberg Mountains,
an open rocky habitat with low human impact and no competing predators, leopards were predominantly nocturnal, mainly hunting diurnal prey species. Hunting success was low: leopards travelled long distances between kills, with nocturnal hunting success higher on darker
nights.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalAfrican Journal of Ecology
Early online date1 Feb 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • camera trapping, GPS tracking, hunting success, leopard, lunar cycle, Panthera pardus

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