Large carnivores are difficult to monitor in the field: they are elusive and live at low densities over wide areas. We contribute to the estimation of their abundance and distribution by applying and developing methods that make optimal use of available data. These data are often obtained through non-invasive methods relying on photo- or DNA-identification.
This topic was the heart of Lucile Marescot PhD (here, see also here) and kept Laetitia Blanc quite busy during her PhD (here and here). Anne-Sophie Bonnet-Lebrun has been working on related issues during her internship. Also, Marlène Gamelon during her PhD studied transient dynamics of populations under natural or human-induced disturbances (here). Now Julie Louvrier in her PhD is working on tools to infer the distribution of large carnivores in France and Norway. Also, Lorelei Guéry in her post-doc is studying population dynamics of lynx in Switzerland using spatially-explicit capture-recapture models and integrated population models; this is joint work with Fridolin Zimmermann from KORA.
This theme is also the object of collaborations with Alexandros Karamanlidis on brown bears in Greece (visit the NGO Arcturos webpage), Vincenzo Gervasi on wolverines (here) and Richard Bischof on brown bears in Norway (here).
My interest for the monitoring of species that are difficult to see in the field traces back to my two stays in Malaysia, working for the NGO Hutan-KOCP on the estimation of orang-utan abundance. I’ll be eternally grateful to Marc Ancrenaz and Benoît Goossens for giving me the opportunity to modestly contribute to their conservation programme (here and here) – their encounter still influences the way I envisage conservation biology.