The Field Validation of Footprint Identification Technology on Free-roaming Cheetahs in Namibia

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2015-04-24

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Abstract

The Footprint Identification Technology (FIT) is a non-invasive way to monitor species by taking photographs of footprints left behind by the animals. FIT has only been tested on cheetahs in captivity. Because wild cheetahs cross a multitude of substrate types, FIT needs to be tested with footprints from the wide variety of ground types that cheetahs walk on. Footprints were collected from 15 known free-roaming cheetahs from four different field sites in Namibia. These footprints were ranked on a scale of 0 to 5 for quality based on their clarity, substrate type, and age. Using the quality rankings and differing lengths of trails, FIT was assessed on its ability to accurately predict the number of individuals in an area and the sex of those individuals.

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Laity, Kellie (2015). The Field Validation of Footprint Identification Technology on Free-roaming Cheetahs in Namibia. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/9651.


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