Mesocarnivore community structuring in the presence of Africa’s apex predator

Gonçalo Curveira-Santos, Chris Sutherland, Simone Tenan, Albert Fernández-Chacón, Gareth Mann, Ross Pitman & Lourens Swanepoel
Apex predator reintroductions have proliferated across southern Africa, yet their ecological effects and proposed umbrella benefits of associated management lack empirical evaluations. Despite a rich theory on top-down ecosystem regulation via mesopredator (<20kg) suppression, a knowledge gap exists relating to the influence of lions (Panthera leo) over Africa’s diverse mesocarnivore communities. We investigate how geographical variation in mesocarnivore community richness and occupancy across South African reserves is associated with the presence of lions. An interesting...
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