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Kalahari CheetahsAdaptations to an arid region$
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Gus Mills and Margaret Mills

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198712145

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198712145.001.0001

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Coexistence and the cheetah’s relations with other carnivores

Coexistence and the cheetah’s relations with other carnivores

(p.111) Chapter 9 Coexistence and the cheetah’s relations with other carnivores
Kalahari Cheetahs

M.G.L. Mills

M.E.J. Mills

Oxford University Press

In the southern Kalahari densities of large carnivores are relatively low, with the brown hyena the most abundant. Resource partitioning is well defined as each species tends to concentrate on the prey species it is best adapted to utilize, and they show dietary flexibility. Interactions between cheetahs and other large carnivores were rare and mostly inconsequential. Only 6.1% of kills were kleptoparasitized, with an average percentage loss of 65% per kill. Nearly all (82.6%) kills stolen, were stolen at night, were springbok, and the perpetrators were mainly lions and brown hyenas. Diurnal hunting largely counters kleptoparasitism, and anyway cheetahs are well adapted physiologically, through their daily energy expenditure, to cope with over 25% loss of kills. Jackals were often attracted to cheetah kills. Occasionally, if numbers grew to more than five, they could harass cheetahs into abandoning the kill prematurely. Jackals may also sometimes kill small cheetah cubs.

Keywords:   carnivore coexistence, community dynamics, interspecific competition, kleptoparasitism, comparative carnivore densities

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