| May 2019

Meso-predators: Ecological effects in the absence of apex-predators in a Kalahari System

Roxanne Collins, MSc

I am currently looking at the possible effects that take place in a Kalahari ecosystem when large predators have been excluded. It’s well documented in various systems globally that the presence or absence of large carnivores can have a dramatic and sometimes lasting impact on the environment. Tswalu presents a neat case-study as the reserve has two sections – one containing lions and the other without, while the whole suite of naturally occurring game are found on both. My study aims to look at small animal assemblages (notably small mammals and birds) and try determine if there are any distinct differences between the two sections. This research will lead to a greater understanding of the impacts of large predators on the Kalahari ecosystem.