Quantifying lion (Panthera leo) demographic response following a three-year moratorium on trophy hunting.

dc.contributor.authorMweetwa, Thandiwe
dc.contributor.authorChristianson, David A.
dc.contributor.authorBecker, Matthew S.
dc.contributor.authorCreel, Scott
dc.contributor.authorRosenblatt, Elias G.
dc.contributor.authorMerkle, Johnathan
dc.contributor.authorDroge, Egil
dc.contributor.authorMwape, Henry
dc.contributor.authorMasonde, Jones
dc.contributor.authorSimpamba, Twakundine
dc.description.abstractFactors that limit African lion populations are manifold and well-recognized, but their relative demographic effects remain poorly understood, particularly trophy hunting near protected areas. We identified and monitored 386 individual lions within and around South Luangwa National Park, Zambia, for five years (2008-2012) with trophy hunting and for three additional years (2013-2015) during a hunting moratorium. We used these data with mark-resight models to estimate the effects of hunting on lion survival, recruitment, and abundance. The best survival models, accounting for imperfect detection, revealed strong positive effects of the moratorium, with survival increasing by 17.1 and 14.0 percentage points in subadult and adult males, respectively. Smaller effects on adult female survival and positive effects on cub survival were also detected. The sex-ratio of cubs shifted from unbiased during trophy-hunting to female-biased during the moratorium. Closed mark-recapture models revealed a large increase in lion abundance during the hunting moratorium, from 116 lions in 2012 immediately preceding the moratorium to 209 lions in the last year of the moratorium. More cubs were produced each year of the moratorium than in any year with trophy hunting. Lion demographics shifted from a male-depleted population consisting mostly of adult (≥4 years) females to a younger population with more (>29%) adult males. These data show that the three-year moratorium was effective at growing the Luangwa lion population and increasing the number of adult males. The results suggest that moratoria may be an effective tool for improving the sustainability of lion trophy hunting, particularly where systematic monitoring, conservative quotas, and age-based harvesting are difficult to enforce.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipWorld Wide Fund for Nature-Netherlands; The Bennink Foundation; National Science Foundation Animal Behavior Program (IOS-1145749); Painted Dog Conservation Inc.; Mfuwe Lodge/Bushcamp Company; Vulcan; National Geographic's Big Cats Initiative; Tusk Trusten_US
dc.identifier.citationMweetwa, Thandiwe, David Christianson, Matt Becker, Scott Creel, Elias Rosenblatt, Johnathan Merkle, Egil Droge, Henry Mwape, Jones Masonde, and Twakundine Simpamba. "Quantifying lion (Panthera leo) demographic response following a three-year moratorium on trophy hunting.." PLoS One 13, no. 5 (May 2018). DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0197030.en_US
dc.rightsCC BY: This license lets you distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon this work, even commercially, as long as you credit the original creator for this work. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.en_US
dc.titleQuantifying lion (Panthera leo) demographic response following a three-year moratorium on trophy hunting.en_US
mus.citation.journaltitlePLoS Oneen_US
mus.contributor.orcidDroge, Egil|0000-0002-2642-3859en_US
mus.identifier.categoryLife Sciences & Earth Sciencesen_US
mus.relation.collegeCollege of Letters & Scienceen_US
mus.relation.universityMontana State University - Bozemanen_US


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