Carnivore symposium

This event took place in November 2013

Habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation threaten wildlife worldwide and are primary causes of extinction. These landscape changes affect the availability and distribution of food which, in turn, affect the energy balance of individuals, ultimately reducing both survival and reproduction. The resulting declines in individual numbers can lead to lower population densities, local extinction and, eventually, global range collapse. To have a chance of mitigating the impacts of global environmental changes on biodiversity, we need to increase our understanding of how animals respond to these changes. This requires integrating data across biological scales, from individuals to populations, and from species to community assemblages. Carnivores are a particularly good group for this approach. They are well studied at different biological scales and are one of the few groups for which we have reliable data on predator and prey abundance across a range of species and ecosystems. This provides an opportunity for a unique understanding of phenomena acting across populations and species. We will combine studies of individual behaviour and energetics with studies of populations to learn how patterns in animal space use vary with environmental productivity. Our aim is to identify how and why species differ in their responses to environmental variation and tolerances to future environmental change.

Talks and presentations

Joshua Ginsberg, Wildlife Conservation Society, USA
Keynote: Assessing the global recovery of large carnivores

SESSION I: UNDERSTANDING INDIVIDUALS

Rory Wilson, University of Swansea, UK 
How might we measure behaviour in the wild?

Pat Butler, University of Birmingham, UK
Methods for estimating energetics in the wild

Rosie Woodroffe, Zoological Society of London, UK and Wildlife Conservation Society, USA
Temperature effects on African wild dogs: from individuals to species

Chris Wilmers, University of California Santa Cruz, USA
Variation in the daily energy costs in suburban cougar

 Tom McCarthy, Panthera, USA 
 Snow leopards: ecological insights from recent studies in Mongolia, China, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan 

Dale Miquelle, Wildlife Conservation Society, Russia and Clay Miller, University of Montana
Where did we go wrong? Resolving the discrepancies between energetic models and carnivore reality

 Gus Mills, The Lewis Foundation, South Africa and WildCRU, University of Oxford
 Living on the edge III: surviving in deserts and the importance of getting your energetic budgets right 

John Linnell, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), Norway
From carnivore movements to management strategies

Roland Kays, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences & NC State University, USA
Carnivore behavioural adaptations needed to give them a future in the Anthropocene

Michael Scantlebury, Queen’s University Belfast, UK
Small carnivore energetics

Martin Wikelski, Max Planck Institut for Ornithology, Germany
 Keynote: ICARUS – a new global system to observe small animals

SESSION II: FROM INDIVIDUALS TO POPULATIONS

Nathalie Pettorelli, Zoological Society of London, UK
Individual variability and predator-prey dynamics

Erlend Nilsen, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), Norway
Prey abundance, functional responses and carnivore population densities

Philip Stephens, Durham University, UK
 Energetics and the limits of rarity 

 Alienor Chauvenet, Zoological Society of London, UK and Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency, UK
 Individual-based models: investigating carnivore dynamics in complex ecosystems

 John DeLong, Yale University, USA 
 Understanding scaling patterns from consumer-resource interactions

SESSION III: FROM POPULATIONS TO GLOBAL DISTRIBUTIONS

Blaire Van Valkenburgh, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
What can we learn from the past? Looking at extinct carnivores

Jennifer Crees, Zoological Society of London, UK
Dynamics of mammal declines in Holocene Europe: insights from the recent past

Chris Carbone, Zoological Society of London, UK
From resources to macroecological patterns

Guillaume Chapron, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden
Carnivore conservation and the relative importance of threat processes

Sarah Durant, Zoological Society of London, UK
Does size matter? An investigation of habitat use across a carnivore assemblage in the Serengeti, Tanzania

E.J. Milner-Gulland, Imperial College London, UK
How do we move forward?