Sandy Slovikosky

Research Interests

I am interested in large carnivore ecology and conservation. For my DPhil research, I am working in Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda, to assess whether wire snare poaching has non-consumptive effects on African lion population persistence. This project grew out of a knowledge gap regarding the non-lethal impacts of snares. Previous work has suggested that in addition to direct mortality from human predation, animals might also experience reduced fitness from an injury, with potential consequences for long-term population persistence. These costs might manifest in decreased reproductive, energetic, and nutritional wellbeing of the individual in addition to influencing its survival. Thus, using the African lion as a model species, I am studying whether wire snares indeed cause non-lethal effects as measured in these prospective costs. Potential ramifications for population viability can then be assessed, providing a more complete picture of human impacts on wildlife communities when combined with measures of direct mortality.