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Research helping shed light on lives of desert carnivores

A cheetah climbs a scent marking tree in the Skeleton Coast National Park, north-west Namibia.

It is the latest in a series of remotely captured camera trap images

It is the latest in a series of remotely captured camera trap images from a study by Nottingham Trent University PhD researcher Sarah Curtis, who is investigating desert carnivore densities, interactions and diets.

The tree is used by different cheetahs to scent mark on, providing updates to others about who has been there and when they last visited. It would also provide information such as whether a cheetah is a dominant male, or if a female is receptive to mating.

The research is a collaboration between the university’s School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences, the Skeleton Coast Brown Hyaena Project, Namibia University of Science and Technology and Wilderness.

It continues to reveal a range of species including black-backed jackals, caracal, desert lions, African wildcats, aardwolf and hyaena.

  • Black-backed jackal
    Black-backed jackal
  • Caracal
  • Desert lioness
    Desert lioness
  • African wildcat
    African wildcat
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    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) received the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2021 for cultural heritage science research. It is the second time that NTU has been bestowed the honour of receiving a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its research, the first being in 2015 for leading-edge research on the safety and security of global citizens.

    The Research Excellence Framework (2021) classed 83% of NTU’s research activity as either world-leading or internationally excellent. 86% of NTU’s research impact was assessed to be either world-leading or internationally excellent.

    NTU was awarded The Times and The Sunday Times Modern University of the Year 2023 and ranked University of the Year in the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023. It was awarded Outstanding Support for Students 2020 (Times Higher Education Awards), University of the Year 2019 (Guardian University Awards, UK Social Mobility Awards), Modern University of the Year 2018 (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide) and University of the Year 2017 (Times Higher Education Awards).

    NTU is the 5th largest UK institution by student numbers, with approximately 40,000 students and more than 4,400 staff located across five campuses. It has an international student population of 7,000 and an NTU community representing over 160 countries.

    Since 2000, NTU has invested £570 million in tools, technology, buildings and facilities.

    NTU is in the UK’s top 10 for number of applications and ranked first for accepted offers (2021 UCAS UG acceptance data). It is also among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and was the first UK university to sign the Social Mobility Pledge.

    NTU is ranked the second most sustainable university in the world in the 2022 UI Green Metric University World Rankings (out of more than 900 participating universities).

Published on 17 July 2023
  • Subject area: Animal, equine and wildlife
  • Category: Press office; Research; School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences