UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Effects of linear barriers on African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) movement in a transfrontier conservation area Thompson, Allison


Understanding the movement of large wildlife species is crucial for biodiversity conservation efforts. Despite a recognition of the need for landscape scale conservation efforts addressing connectivity, our understanding of the effects of linear landscape features on wildlife movement remains incomplete, particularly in developing country contexts. In this study, we used a six-year GPS collar dataset of the locations of 36 buffalo, in Namibia and surrounding countries, to investigate permeability of linear features to buffalo movement, and the effect of proximity to these linear features and human settlements on buffalo movement, including behaviour when crossing potential barriers. We found that buffalo alter their behaviour in proximity to linear barriers, increase their speed when crossing roads, and are less likely to cross roads when they are near human settlements. These findings can aid conservation planners’ understanding of how large animals respond to landscape features to better manage for connectivity at the landscape scale.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada