The aim of the project is to assess the impact of human disturbance, mainly defaunation and land-use change (agriculture and livestock), on the diet, trophic position, and movement patterns of six African carnivores.
Human landscape transformation is considered to be the greatest global threat to biodiversity. In recent decades agricultural and pastoral activities in the Eastern African countries of Kenya and Tanzania have increased and are the major drivers of an observed decline of large mammalian species. It is of great importance to evaluate the effects that these changes will have on wildlife communities, and particularly in these countries as they are among the few that still retain a robust and diverse mammalian community.
Our main objective is to compare individuals from the last century (1910–1911) with modern day communities (1990–2014). These samples cover a period in which anthropogenic disturbances have increasingly altered the community of large vertebrates and therefore the environmental services they provide. We will use a range of stable isotopic approaches to compare hair samples from specimens collected by the Smithsonian-Roosevelt East African collection (1909–1911), a unique historical resource, with the recent samples.
Itzel collecting hair samples from a cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus)
Itzel weighing samples for stable isotope analysis Itzel weighing samples for stable isotope analysis
Species of interest
Contact person: Itzel Arias-Del Razo (link to profile coming soon:))
My research focuses on assessing the direct and indirect implications of predation and its impact on the environment. This approach allows me to better understand the role that biotic interactions play in the maintenance and functioning of ecosystems. I am particularly interested in assessing the impact of human activities (climate change, land use, and defaunation)… Read more