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Bothma. 1984.

Created By: Brooke Adams
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Aspects of the ecology and the behaviour of the leopard Panthera pardus in the Kalahari Desert

by J D P BothmaE A N Le Riche


In the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park, medium-sized mammals featured prominently in the [1diet of all leopards, with prey influenced by habitat type. Leopards in the interior moved greater distances than those in the Nossob riverbed. Leopards rested frequently at the onset and end of activity and used dense vegetation and aardvark Orycteropus afer and porcupine Hystrix africaeaustralis burrows as daytime cover. Leopards are independent of water, and females apparently have no definite breeding season. Lions Panthera leo dominate leopards, but the outcome of leopard/spotted hyaena Crocuta crocuta encounters depend on size of leopard and number of hyaenas in the pack. Leopards in the Kalahari Desert are opportunists which occupy this harsh environment successfully.

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