The management of free-ranging lions on enclosed protected areas.
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This Research investigates the potential impacts that free-ranging lions have within a small (<100 000 hectare), enclosed protected area, and it also investigates the subsequent challenges to the managers of areas such as these. A comprehensive literature review reveals that the smaller the protected area, the more intensively it needs to be managed via active adaptive management, because perimeter fences do not allow for immigration and emigration. The consequences of this are over-population; inbreeding depression; the decline of prey and other predator species; conflict with neighbouring communities as a result of break-outs; and, in some cases, the spreading of intra- and interspecies disease. Lions are very proficient breeders and, in all cases investigated, reserves exceeded their local carrying capacity within a relatively short period of time. A range of management interventions can potentially achieve short- and/or long-term reserve objectives. These interventions include relocation, contraception, hunting and artificial takeovers. These interventions are described in terms of the preparation required, the biological consequences and the sociological influences.