How the Identification of Communication Hubs Helps to Solve Cheetah-Farmer Conflicts in Namibia
Scientists from the Cheetah Research Project, led by the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW), discovered two interesting details of the cheetah's spatial behaviour by collecting long-term movement data:
(1) Cheetah males display two spatial tactics: floating individuals roam over vast areas whereas territory holders defend small core areas (Melzheimer et al. 2018 Ecosphere).
(2) These core areas of male cheetah territories serve as “communication hubs” (Melzheimer et al. 2020 PNAS).
Implementing this knowledge and moving their breeding herds with young calves out of the hotspots, farmers were able to reduce livestock losses by more than 80 percent.
The map illustrates the movement behaviour of three floaters that regularly visit these communication hubs. All of them frequently move into the “P Hub” during the period from 16 to 31 December 2020 (highlighted tracks).