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2014 | 59 | 4 |
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Population density of striped hyenas in relation to habitat in a semi-arid landscape, western India

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We used camera trapping in conjunction with a spatial explicit capture–recapture model to estimate striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena) density and occupancy models to investigate factors affecting striped hyena detection probabilities in Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve (RTR), Rajasthan, India. A sampling effort of 4,450 trap days/nights over 75 days yield 68 photo captures of 21 unique striped hyenas (based on individual markings and visual identification); the estimated striped hyena density was 5.49 ± 1.27 individuals/100 km2. Results of our occupancy model suggested that a rugged terrain is an important factor that influences striped hyena detection probability. Correlation with striped hyena detection with human settlement provides evidence of social tolerance of striped hyena towards humans, and more occurrence of resources allowed coexistence of hyena in a human-dominated landscape. This elasticity (inhabited areas close to humans) demonstrated by striped hyenas is an exception among carnivore communities living in this semi-arid habitat.
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