Elephants move faster in small fragments of low productivity in Amboseli ecosystems : Kenya

T.W. Gara, Tiejun Wang, A.K. Skidmore, S.M. Ngene, T. Dube, M. Sibanda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Understanding factors affecting the behaviour and movement patterns of the African elephant is important for wildlife conservation, especially in increasingly human-dominated savanna landscapes. Currently, knowledge on how landscape fragmentation and vegetation productivity affect elephant speed of movement remains poorly understood. In this study, we tested whether landscape fragmentation and vegetation productivity explains elephant speed of movement in the Amboseli ecosystem in Kenya. We used GPS collar data from five elephants to quantify elephant speed of movement for three seasons (wet, dry and transitional). We then used multiple regression to model the relationship between speed of movement and landscape fragmentation, as well as vegetation productivity for each season. Results of this study demonstrate that landscape fragmentation and vegetation productivity predicted elephant speed of movement poorly (R2 < 0.4) when used as solitary covariates. However, a combination of the covariates significantly (p < 0.05) explained variance in elephant speed of movement with improved R2 values of 0.69, 0.45, 0.47 for wet, transition and dry seasons, respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1243-1253
Number of pages11
JournalGeocarto international
Volume32
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2017

Keywords

  • METIS-317266
  • ITC-ISI-JOURNAL-ARTICLE

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