WCS 3-Sentence Science
Are Southeast Asia’s Leopards Declining?
January 16, 2020
Each year, Wildlife Conservation Society scientists publish more than 300 peer-reviewed studies and papers. “WCS 3-Sentence Science” is a regular tip-sheet — in bite sized helpings — of some of this published work.
Here we present work by WCS’s Saisamorn Apinya and Anak Pattanavibool on on whether leopards adjust their contact with prey species to avoid conflict with tigers.
- Using camera trap data, researchers analyzed the behavioral interactions between leopards (Panthera pardus), their prey, and tigers to determine if leopards fine-tune their activity to maximize contact with four prey species (sambar; wild boar; barking deer; banteng) while avoiding tigers; and if prey alter their temporal activity in response to variation in their relative abundance ratio with leopards.
- They found that differences in tiger relative abundance did not appear to impact the temporal activity of leopards, and that leopards had highest activity at dawn and dusk — a behavior that appears to be a compromise to provide access to diurnal wild boar and barking deer and nocturnal sambar and banteng.
- This is the first study in Southeast Asia to quantify spatial and temporal interactions between the leopard, its primary ungulate prey, and the tiger and provides new insights for conserving this declining subspecies.
Study and Journal: “Spatial and temporal analysis of leopards (Panthera pardus), their prey and tigers (Panthera tigris) in Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary, Thailand” from Folia Oecologica
WCS Co-Author(s): Saisamorn Apinya (Lead), Wildlife Monitoring Coordinator, WCS Thailand ; Anak Pattanavibool, Program Director, WCS Thailand
For more information, contact: Stephen Sautner, 718–220–3682, email@example.com.