Predator conservation program
The goal of the BPCT is to preserve Africa's large carnivore guild, that is African wild dog, cheetah, leopard, African lion and spotted hyaena. In order to achieve this our research focuses on the following;
• the behaviour and ecology of threatened and endangered large carnivore species
• the effect of human development on wildlife species and their habitats
• the impact of management and development policies and activities relating to these areas
Through this line of enquiry we intent to better understand the natural mechanisms of conflict avoidance and strategies for co-existence within the large predator guild, ensuring that the appropriate measures are in place for a healthy guild population in protected lands. We also focus on conflict between humans and carnivores and aim to develop and improve management strategies to alleviate conflict in buffer zones. We collect long-term monitoring data for both predators and prey populations in addition to more detailed data collection necessary for more specific projects mentioned below.
Predator Population Monitoring
Monitoring trends in animal population sizes and distribution is an essential component of wildlife research and management. By tracking radio-collared individuals, BPCT monitors the movement of lions, leopards, cheetahs, spotted hyenas and wild dogs to describe their social behaviours and investigate habitat use, interactions between species, foraging patters and population dynamics.
Herbivore Population Monitoring
Identifying herbivore abundance and distribution is an essential component of understanding the interactions between intraguild species. Firstly, it provides the necessary background information needed to determine prey preference and hence the potential for resource competition. Secondly, the presence and distribution of predators are influenced by the availability and spatial distribution of their prey. More information...
We currently have two graduate students who are conducting research on habitat use and segregation of carnivores, and niche segregation of cheetahs. More information...
Peter Apps, PhD and Lesego Mmualefe, PhD
The BioBoundary Project's development of artificial territorial boundaries that will keep African Wild Dogs safely inside the borders of protected conservation areas is a rare example of close collaboration between field work and cutting edge chemical analysis. The field work is carried out in the BPCT study area in northern Botswana and the Tuli Block in the south east of the country, and the chemical analysis is carried out in the Paul G Allen Family Foundation Wildlife Chemistry Laboratory in Maun, Botswana. More information...
Past Graduate Student Work
We have an archive of past graduate student work.