Zoological Studies

Vol. 60, 2021

(update: 2021.07.07)

Threats to Site Occupation of Carnivores: A Spatiotemporal Encroachment of Non-native Species on the Native Carnivore Community in A Human-dominated Protected Area

Kasereka Vitekere1, Luc Mumbere Lango2, Jiao Wang1, Mengyan Zhu1, Guangshun Jiang1,*, and Yan Hua3,*


1Feline Research Center of National Forestry and Grassland Administration, College of Wildlife and Natural Protected Area, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, Heilongjiang, 150040, P.R. China. *Correspondence: jgshun@126.com (Jiang).
E-mail: kasvitekere@hotmail.fr (Vitekere), wj15765526221@163.com (Wang)
2Research Center for Environmental Planning, Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo; luclango@yahoo.fr (Lango)
3Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Silviculture, Protection and Utilization, Guangdong Academy of Forestry, Guangzhou 510520, China. *Correspondence: E-mail: wildlife530@hotmail.com (Hua)

Received 4 January 2021 / Accepted 6 June 2021
Communicated by Jian-Nan Liu

Interspecific interactions of commensal non-native species such as domestic dogs and livestock with native wildlife are evident issues in protected areas (PAs). We studied spatiotemporal interactions by combining camera trap photographic sampling over three years. We used a generic multiseason occupancy and co-occurrence analysis and kernel density estimates of temporal activity. We accumulated a total of 1305 and 1557 independent photo-captures respectively for non-native and carnivore species during 26,216 trap nights. We found that non-native and carnivore species didn’t show substantial changes in occupancy rate over time. Yet both kinds of species were well detected. Carnivores depicted low values of occupancy equilibrium than non-native species in seasons one and two. Domestic dogs directly co-occur with native carnivores (except with leopard in season one) while the human and livestock presence have direct (Species Interaction Factors > 1) and indirect (Species Interaction Factors close to 1) co-occurrence, respectively, with the leopard and two mesocarnivores. The leopard cat was the least spatially influenced carnivore by the non-native species interactions. Furthermore, the leopard had higher temporal overlap (high Δ4) with all non-native species than the leopard cat and red fox (low Δ4). Our study exposes the negative impact of free-ranging non-native species across this protected area on native carnivore occupancy. An evaluation of the interconnections among non-native and carnivore species across diverse PAs management regimes is crucial to develop robust landscape-scale conservation strategies.

Key words: Conservation and management, Non-native and carnivore species, Overlap, Protected area, Spatiotemporal patterns.

Citation: Vitekere K, Lango LM, Wang J, Zhu M, Jiang G, Hua Y. 2021. Threats to site occupation of carnivores: A spatiotemporal encroachment of non-native species on the native carnivore community in a human-dominated Protected Area. Zool Stud 60:52.