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Habitat suitability modelling and implications for management of roan antelopes in Kenya

Lookup NU author(s): Johnstone Kimanzi, Dr Roy SandersonORCiD, Professor Stephen Rushton


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The roan antelope is locally endangered in Kenya with <50 individuals remaining in Ruma National Park (RNP). An understanding of the habitat requirements is essential to formulate habitat management strategies for species recovery. This study identifies habitat and management features affecting roan distribution in different seasons using information-theoretic and multimodel inference (MMI) techniques. MMI averaged models were coupled with GIS data to develop habitat suitability maps. Results showed that roan habitat suitability is determined by different factors in different seasons but overall habitat was more important than management. Best predictors of roan incidence were wooded grassland, open grassland and water points. Water was more significant in the dry season whilst vegetation burned status, slope, soil type, distances to snares, park fence and security gates were important predictors at other seasons. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) plots confirmed that the models fitted well to the data (AUC>0.9). Sustainable conservation of roans in RNP can be achieved via long-term habitat management including prescribed burning and construction of more water points and short-term urgent solutions to key management issues, especially control of poaching.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kimanzi J, Sanderson R, Rushton S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: African Journal of Ecology

Year: 2014

Volume: 52

Issue: 1

Pages: 111-121

Print publication date: 04/07/2013

ISSN (print): 0141-6707

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2028

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1111/aje.12097


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