Ecology and Conservation of Large Carnivores

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Ecology and Conservation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2024 | Viewed by 3121

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Natural Resources, Northland College, Ashland, WI 54806, USA
Interests: large carnivores; conservation; wildlife management; ecology; geospatial analysis; human–wildlife conflict

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Lion Guardians U.S., Washington, DC, USA
2. Institute for Communities and Wildlife in Africa, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Interests: large carnivore conservation; human–carnivore coexistence; wildlife adaptation to human landscapes; wildlife management; indigenous knowledge in biodiversity conservation; technology in conservation; climate change; carnivore conflict

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In this Special Issue of Animals, we aim to highlight current work that enhances our scientific understanding and conservation of a small subset of organisms that play an important role in our cultures and global ecosystems—large carnivores.  Because of their size, large carnivores have larger home ranges and lower fecundity, and naturally occur at lower densities. These traits make large carnivore populations particularly susceptible to the anthropogenic use or alteration of their habitats. Their body size, diet, and trophic roles often make them direct competitors with humans for domestic and wild prey. In some cases, these same traits also allow large carnivores to play critical roles in shaping ecosystems. Over the past century, human persecution has pushed many large carnivore species to the brink of extinction. Yet, conservation efforts for some species offer hope that the growing human population can maintain its standard of living while coexisting with the largest of carnivores.

The aim of this Special Issue is to publish original research that enhances our knowledge and understanding of large (ca. ≥15 kg) carnivores (members of Carnivora) across the globe. We strongly encourage the submission of manuscripts that discuss carnivores from diverse biomes and socio-cultural regions of the globe. Studies that include ecology, behavior, population assessments, human dimensions work, or conservation assessments are welcome.

Dr. Erik R. Olson
Dr. Stephanie Dolrenry
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • large carnivores
  • mammalian
  • Carnivora
  • ecology
  • conservation
  • global human–carnivore coexistence
  • carnivore adaptation to the Anthropocene
  • behavior
  • human attitudes
  • population assessment
  • habitat connectivity

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 2582 KiB  
Article
Research on the Changes in Distribution and Habitat Suitability of the Chinese Red Panda Population
by Tao Ruan, Wei Wei, Zejun Zhang and Hong Zhou
Animals 2024, 14(3), 424; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14030424 - 28 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1369
Abstract
The study of the dynamics of species habitat is of great significance for maintaining or adjusting the current habitat protection management strategy. However, the current research on the Chinese red panda’s habitat is limited to the analysis of a single period, which makes [...] Read more.
The study of the dynamics of species habitat is of great significance for maintaining or adjusting the current habitat protection management strategy. However, the current research on the Chinese red panda’s habitat is limited to the analysis of a single period, which makes it difficult to quantify the changes in its habitat on a temporal scale and greatly hinders the formulation of the overall protection and management strategies that are to be used for the Chinese red panda. This study simulated habitat suitability at different temporal scales to quantify the trend of changes in habitat quality and analyzed the reasons for the changes in habitat suitability in certain regions. The results showed that the overall suitability of the Chinese red panda’s habitat increased and that the area of suitable habitats expanded. Suitable Chinese red panda habitats in the mountains of Qionglai (1662.73 km2), Daxiangling (230.30 km2), Xiaoxiangling (549.47 km2), and Liangshan (50.39 km2) increased by a total of 2452.89 km2. The suitability of habitats in the central part of the Liangshan Mountains has declined significantly, which is positively correlated with changes in temperature seasonality (BIO4, R = 0.18) and negatively correlated with changes in annual average temperature (BIO1, R = −0.03) as well as changes in the proportion of farmland (FARMLAND, R = −0.14). The local extinction of isolated populations of Chinese red pandas in the Minshan Mountains is the main factor leading to their distribution retreat rather than a decrease in habitat quality. The research results help us to provide a scientific basis for the formulation of conservation and management strategies for Chinese red pandas at different scales. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology and Conservation of Large Carnivores)
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14 pages, 5074 KiB  
Article
Transboundary Cooperation in the Tumen River Basin Is the Key to Amur Leopard (Panthera pardus) Population Recovery in the Korean Peninsula
by Hailong Li, Puneet Pandey, Ying Li, Tianming Wang, Randeep Singh, Yuxi Peng, Hang Lee, Woo-Shin Lee, Weihong Zhu and Chang-Yong Choi
Animals 2024, 14(1), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14010059 - 22 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1363
Abstract
The interconnected forest regions along the lower Tumen River, at the Sino-North Korean border, provide critical habitats and corridors for the critically endangered Amur Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis). In this region, there are two promising corridors for leopard movement between China and North [...] Read more.
The interconnected forest regions along the lower Tumen River, at the Sino-North Korean border, provide critical habitats and corridors for the critically endangered Amur Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis). In this region, there are two promising corridors for leopard movement between China and North Korea: the Jingxin–Dapanling (JD) and Mijiang (MJ) corridors. Past studies have confirmed the functionality of the JD corridor, but leopards’ utilization of the MJ corridor has not yet been established or confirmed. In this study, we assessed the functionality of the MJ corridor. The study area was monitored using camera traps between May 2019 and July 2021. We also analyzed 33 environmental and vegetation factors affecting leopard survival and analyzed leopard movement. In the Mijiang area, the Amur leopard was mainly active in the region adjacent to the Northeast China Tiger and Leopard National Park and did not venture into area near the North Korean border. The complex forest structure allowed leopards to move into the Mijiang area. However, the high intensity of human disturbance and manufactured physical barriers restricted further southward movement. Therefore, human-induced disturbances such as grazing, mining, farming, logging, and infrastructure development must be halted and reversed to make the Mijiang region a functional corridor for the Amur leopard to reach the North Korean forest. This necessitates inter-governmental and international cooperation and is essential for the long-term survival of the Amur leopard. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology and Conservation of Large Carnivores)
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