Factors affecting detection probability of elephant (Loxodonta africana) carcasses in an African conservation area
Keywords:Detection probability, Loxodonta africana, Hotspot maps, Anti-Poaching efforts
Poaching for ivory has led to massive population declines of African savannah elephants (Loxodonta africana). To prioritize anti-poaching efforts, elephant poaching hotspot maps were created. However, these might be biased because they are not corrected for the detection probability of elephant carcasses. Carcass decomposition state was defined as a proxy for detection probability. Detection probability was influenced by the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) influencing live elephant densities across the area. Our results show the importance of accounting for detection probability to achieve true estimates when predicting poaching risk to successfully direct anti-poaching efforts in African conservation areas.
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