Smuts GL. 1978. Interrelations Between Predators, Prey, and Their Environment. BioScience
Even though this book was published way back in 1978 (and re-printed in 1983), the research information in the book is very much current. The management of large predators still remains a controversial and highly emotional issue all over the world. This can largely be ascribed to a lack of knowledge of the basic factors influencing predators and prey populations. Since about 1903, predator control - principally that of the larger carnivores such as lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, spotted hyenas, and crocodiles - was routinely practiced in Kruger National Park. The possible influence of large predators on prey populations became a controversial issue, when wildebeest and zebra populations started declining in the Central District of Kruger Park. Although it was realized that these declines were linked to cropping operations, the drought, and marked habitat changes, there was some evidence that large predators, principally the lion, were the proximate cause of the declines.
Although a scientific publication, the book was written in a relaxed format, sharing many tales about lion counting projects etc. - almost like a giant trip report. It has certainly given me a better understanding of man's influence in our Parks. Well worth reading!
In love with God's creation