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Cormac Price

Bio: Cormac Price is an academic researcher from University of KwaZulu-Natal. The author has contributed to research in topics: Population & Ecology. The author has an hindex of 1, co-authored 3 publications receiving 3 citations.

Papers
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper reviewed case studies of vertebrate species' responses to urbanisation in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, to determine trends and presented a novel modification to the final of three phases of the framework described by Evans et al. (2010).
Abstract: Urbanisation is rapidly transforming natural landscapes with consequences for biodiversity. Little is documented on the response of African wildlife to urbanisation. We reviewed case studies of vertebrate species' responses to urbanisation in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa to determine trends. Connected habitat mosaics of natural and anthropogenic green spaces are critical for urban wildlife persistence. We present a novel modification to the final of three phases of the framework described by Evans et al. (2010), which documents this sequence for vertebrate species persistence, based on the perspective of our research. Species in suburbia exhibit an initial phase where behavioural and ecological flexibility, life-history traits and phenotypic plasticity either contribute to their success, or they stay at low numbers. Where successful, the next phase is a rapid increase in populations and distribution; anthropogenic food resources and alternate breeding sites are effectively exploited. The modified third phase either continues to spread, plateau or decline.

12 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: There is a concern that continued anthropogenic pressures, changing land use, and increased droughts are resulting in a skewed size-class bias towards older, larger, more resilient adult individuals.
Abstract: Little is documented on the population demographics and morphometrics of wild freshwater turtles (hereafter terrapins) in South Africa. From February 2016 to October 2019, we trapped and recorded morphometric and biological data for serrated hinged terrapins Pelusios sinuatus (n = 97) and marsh terrapins Pelomedusa galeata (n = 51) in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. We visited two areas (Ndumo Game Reserve and Tala Private Reserve) regularly during the study period. Data were also intermittently obtained from eight other study areas across the province. We recorded age class, and morphometrics (including carapace length, carapace width, body mass and sex) for each terrapin caught, and also noted injuries. We uniquely marked all captured terrapins on the peripheral scutes around the hindleg region of the carapace, so to record any recaptures. A size-class bias was observed, with most individuals being large mature adults. Juveniles for P. sinuatus only accounted for 11 of the total 97 individuals (11.3%). Juveniles for P. galeata only accounted for 4 of the total 51 individuals (7.8%). There were significant differences in the three main morphometric variables between the adult male and female P. sinuatus, whereas there were no morphological differences between the adult male and female P. galeata. We recaptured only one P. sinuatus and two P. galeata. There is a concern that continued anthropogenic pressures, changing land use, and increased droughts are resulting in a skewed size-class bias towards older, larger, more resilient adult individuals.

3 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors investigated the southern tree agama, Acanthocercus atricollis population trends, habitat use and basking and shading behaviour in a high-density urban human-populated housing metropolitan area in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Abstract: Urbanisation has caused significant alterations to ecosystems, generally resulting in decreased biodiversity. However, certain animal species persist and thrive in urban environments by making use of available opportunities, anthropogenic resources, infrastructure and increased ambient and surface temperatures. These species are known as urban exploiters. We investigated the southern tree agama, Acanthocercus atricollis population trends, habitat use and basking and shading behaviour in a high-density urban human-populated housing metropolitan area in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. We marked individual southern tree agamas to determine habitat use and territories (n = 37). The southern tree agama population density was high, and they had established set territories here. We conducted monthly observations (February 2017–July 2017 and March 2018–February 2019) to determine the degree of basking and shading behaviour with season and time of day and location. Southern tree agamas invested more than half of their time (57%) in basking behaviour during the overall observational study period. Basking and shading patterns changed with season and time of day. The number of basking southern tree agamas decreased during winter and basking commenced later. We found that increased anthropogenic infrastructure and supplementary food availability, decreased predators, and basking opportunities could have had an influence on their population increase and that the southern tree agama is a potential urban exploiter.

3 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper , the occurrence of gaping behaviour was investigated in a large wild population of Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) during the dry and wet seasons at Nyamithi Pan, Ndumo Game Reserve, South Africa.

2 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Pickersgill's reed frog (Hyperolius pickersgilli raw, 1982) has seven developmental life stages, each with unique management requirements as mentioned in this paper , and the first leg appearance of the right hind occurred 5-6 weeks after the tadpoles hatched, and the metamorph stage was reached after 7-8 weeks.
Abstract: Abstract Globally, the threats of habitat loss and disease on amphibian survival have necessitated the creation of ex‐situ insurance populations as a conservation tool. We initiated a captive breeding project to create an insurance population for the endangered Pickersgill's reed frog (Hyperolius pickersgilli Raw, 1982) at the Johannesburg Zoo from parents collected from KwaZulu‐Natal Province, South Africa, in 2017. We found that this species has seven developmental life stages, each with unique management requirements. The quiescent tadpoles hatched 6–8 days after the eggs were laid and remained at this stage for 2 days. The next stage, the developing tadpoles, showed no form of cannibalism or carrion feeding. The external appearance of the first leg (the right hind) occurred 5–6 weeks after the tadpoles hatched, and the metamorph stage was reached after 7–8 weeks. The metamorph stage lasted 3–5 days, after which tail resorption was complete and the froglet stage reached. Froglets could not be sexed externally, although body color changed based on the amount of light present at the resting place. Sub‐adults were 6 months and older with adult coloration and sex differentiation visible even with color change. Adults were older than 18 months and fully developed and sexually mature, displaying amplexus, oviposition, and external fertilization. A greater understanding of Pickersgill's reed frog's developmental stages and physiological and environmental needs can improve captive breeding and subsequent release of the frogs, facilitate captive breeding elsewhere, and improve the species’ conservation status.

1 citations


Cited by
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Journal ArticleDOI
30 Apr 2021-Ostrich
TL;DR: In Africa, increasing human populations and anthropogenic land-use change are generally affecting diversity negatively as mentioned in this paper, but especially in Africa, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, a large number of people are migrating to the region.
Abstract: Globally, but especially in Africa, increasing human populations and anthropogenic land-use change are generally affecting diversity negatively. Urban environments in southern Africa typically comp...

14 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper reviewed case studies of vertebrate species' responses to urbanisation in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, to determine trends and presented a novel modification to the final of three phases of the framework described by Evans et al. (2010).
Abstract: Urbanisation is rapidly transforming natural landscapes with consequences for biodiversity. Little is documented on the response of African wildlife to urbanisation. We reviewed case studies of vertebrate species' responses to urbanisation in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa to determine trends. Connected habitat mosaics of natural and anthropogenic green spaces are critical for urban wildlife persistence. We present a novel modification to the final of three phases of the framework described by Evans et al. (2010), which documents this sequence for vertebrate species persistence, based on the perspective of our research. Species in suburbia exhibit an initial phase where behavioural and ecological flexibility, life-history traits and phenotypic plasticity either contribute to their success, or they stay at low numbers. Where successful, the next phase is a rapid increase in populations and distribution; anthropogenic food resources and alternate breeding sites are effectively exploited. The modified third phase either continues to spread, plateau or decline.

12 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors provide the first comprehensive development and management guidelines for eco-estates, reviewed and assessed research into the effects of eco-estate development on environmental functionality and connectivity using case studies from coastal KwaZulu-Natal.

4 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper , a meta-analysis was conducted to quantify the effects of urban environments on three components of trophic ecology in predators: dietary species richness, dietary evenness and stable isotopic ratios (IRs).
Abstract: Predation is a fundamental ecological process that shapes communities and drives evolutionary dynamics. As the world rapidly urbanizes, it is critical to understand how human perturbations alter predation and meat consumption across taxa. We conducted a meta-analysis to quantify the effects of urban environments on three components of trophic ecology in predators: dietary species richness, dietary evenness and stable isotopic ratios (IRs) (δ13C and δ15N IR). We evaluated whether the intensity of anthropogenic pressure, using the human footprint index (HFI), explained variation in effect sizes of dietary attributes using a meta-regression. We calculated Hedges’ g effect sizes from 44 studies including 11 986 samples across 40 predatory species in 39 cities globally. The direction and magnitude of effect sizes varied among predator taxa with reptilian diets exhibiting the most sensitivity to urbanization. Effect sizes revealed that predators in cities had comparable diet richness, evenness and nitrogen ratios, though carbon IRs were more enriched in cities. We found that neither the 1993 nor 2009 HFI editions explained effect size variation. Our study provides, to our knowledge, the first assessment of how urbanization has perturbed predator–prey interactions for multiple taxa at a global scale. We conclude that the functional role of predators is conserved in cities and urbanization does not inherently relax predation, despite diets broadening to include anthropogenic food sources such as sugar, wheat and corn.

3 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article , a camera trap survey of front and back yards for 65 residential properties in the City of Mandurah, Western Australia was carried out to identify key features associated with the activity of a local endemic bandicoot species, the Isoodon fusciventer.

2 citations