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The interrelationships between the larger carnivores

8 July 2014

www.leopard.tv

Carnivores have been living in Africa for many millions of years but the living carnivores only for 5 million years. Except the lion, African wild dog, spotted hyaena and brown hyaena none of the carnivores in South Africa is sociable and they cannot attain high densities.

www.leopard.tvWhile the lion is often seen as the king of the carnivores in Africa, it is not always dominant in the carnivore hierarchy.

Lions are generally little influenced by other carnivores. Large prides will readily rob African wild dogs, leopards, cheetahs and spotted hyaenas of their prey. However, prides that do not contain a large male are robbed of carcasses by a large pack of spotted hyaenas when they outnumber the lions by 4:1 or more. Even when outnumbering the lions by 2:1, spotted hyaenas can mob and displace a small pride of lions at a carcass in the absence of a large pride male. Therefore prides without a large male form large aggregations.

Because leopards are solitary in habits their densities are never high enough in a natural system to have a significant impact on their prey or other carnivores, although they will... (Become a subscriber for more)

Reference:

Bothma, J du P & C Walker 1999. Larger carnivores of the African savannas. Pretoria: J. L. Van Schaik.

 

Article by Prof J du P Bothma

 

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