Opportunistic use of camera traps to assess habitat-specific mammal and bird diversity in northcentral Namibia
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- Stein, A.B., Fuller, T.K. & Marker, L.L. Biodivers Conserv (2008) 17: 3579. doi:10.1007/s10531-008-9442-0
In northcentral Namibia, Waterberg Plateau Park (WPP) is a protected area that acts as a refuge for rare and endangered species, while the farmlands surrounding the Park are managed for livestock production, but support populations of wildlife for game farming, trophy hunting, and conservation. During June–October 2006, camera-traps were set within and surrounding WPP to assess leopard (Panthera pardus) density (n = 19 camera stations and 946 camera-trap-nights). Fortuitously, photographic results (2,265 photos of identifiable mammal (n = 37) and bird (n = 25) species) allowed us to assess aspects of species diversity and differences among the Park, the farmland areas along the Waterberg Plateau escarpment, and the flatlands surrounding the escarpment. Species composition among the three areas was markedly different, and made sense with respect to differences in habitat and management features. Camera-trapping efforts, although intended for a narrow purpose, may also provide a rather robust record of differences in mammal and bird diversity in adjacent habitats and can be incorporated into long-term monitoring programs.