16 August 13.00, Salon de Actos, Edificio de Invesigación, Mieres
Species reintroduction is frequently used as a tool for the re-establishment of species into their former range and ecosystem restoration. In South Africa, the economic benefits of wildlife-based tourism have led to an increase in establishments of small private reserves, which frequently involves a reintroduction of large carnivores for conservation and tourist attraction. Post-release monitoring of the behaviour of the reintroduced animals and their interactions with the local species are critical for reintroduction success. Our project investigates the post-release movement and habitat selection of reintroduced lions (Panthera leo) in a newly established wildlife reserve. To assess the impacts of predator reintroductions on prey behaviour, we quantified predation risks using the habitat selection patterns of lions and compared the vigilance behaviour of Burchell’s zebra (Equus quagga burchelli) and blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) under different level of risks following the conceptual framework of the «landscape of fear». The study has advanced our understanding of the ecological dynamics behind species reintroduction and provided management implications for large carnivore reintroductions.