While most, if not all, of my research has practical implications for wildlife management or conservation, some work and publications have a more direct applied flavour to them.
During my MSc research on wild boar Sus scrofa we used a combination of camera-trapping and radio-tracking to derive a robust estimate of wild boar population size and density using a capture-mark-resight approach. This was the first peer-reviewed publication I co-authored, based on this thesis chapters and other data collected later.
Before my PhD, I worked at KORA (Carnivore Ecology and Wildlife Management) in Bern, Switzerland. I spent two winters camera-trapping Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx in the Swiss Alps and the Jura Mountains for population monitoring. Under the supervision of Fridolin Zimmermann and Urs Breitenmoser, I analysed the data using photographic capture-recapture methods to estimate lynx densities, and I co-authored technical reports to the national and local governments to inform management. I also assisted in capturing and collaring lynx for translocations in the framework of an applied management project.
In South Africa, after my PhD, I collaborated with Alexander Braczkowski on two of his MSc papers. We tested the feasbility of using scent lures to increase detectability rates of leopards in camera-trap surveys. We found that the number of detections did not increase, and the precision of the derived density estimates did not improve with the use of scent lures. We assessed the susceptibility of different leopard sex- and age-classes to trophy hunting. We showed that adult male and female leopards move similarly through landscapes where they are likely to encounter hunters. Males, however, are the most susceptible to hunting because they are preferred by trophy hunters due to their impressive appearance.
Later, I collaborated with Ross Pitman on two of his PhD papers, including one looking at the negative conservation impact of the game farming industry in Limpopo following the dramatic increase of rare-morphs breeding (eg. black impala, golden wildebeest) with increased monetary values. As a result, intolerance towards and retaliation against potentially conflicting wildlife increased, turning this land use practice into a costly one for conservation.