Luca Luiselli

Luca Luiselli
Rivers State University of Science and Technology | RSUST · Department of Applied And Environmental Biology

Full Professorship (Ecology; Italian Public Universities Network); Professorship (Statistics and Population Ecology; Université de Lomé Togo)

About

650
Publications
249,760
Reads
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10,904
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Introduction
I am a tropical community ecologist working primarily on the ecology and conservation of snakes and chelonians in Nigeria, Togo, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Burkina Faso, South Sudan, Uganda and Vietnam. My research focuses on a interdisciplinary holistic approach for studying: population dynamics, community structure and species' interactions in West African ecosystems; Ebola ecology; mammals communities and bushmeat trade; and rodent macroecology. As a professor of ecology, I also teach and give lectures
Additional affiliations
October 2020 - present
Università Degli Studi Roma Tre
Position
  • Professor
Description
  • Teaching course for Master students in Tropical Ecology
March 2019 - December 2022
University of Ouagadougou
Position
  • CEO
Description
  • Data mobilization on long-term datasets of ungulates and other large mammal species in Burkina Faso protected areas (reference: Dr Emmanuel M. Hema); chairman of the panel for the PhD theses; external advisor for some PhD theses
October 2018 - October 2022
Université de Lomé
Position
  • Professor
Description
  • I hold two courses (ecological statistics and data analysis; population ecology) for the master program in 'Ecology and faunal resources management' of the Lomé university. The master lasts two years. (references: Prof Guillaume Koffivi K. KETOH )
Education
November 1989 - June 1996
Sapienza University of Rome
Field of study
  • Faculty of Mathematical, Physical and Natural Sciences

Publications

Publications (650)
Article
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Animal space use patterns can be affected by the intra- and interspecific density of individuals competing for resources, with home ranges generally decreasing with increasing population density. By applying spatially explicit capture-recapture models implemented in the R package secr, we study whether home ranges of co-occurring yellow-necked mice...
Article
1.Foraging modes (ambush vs. active foraging) are often correlated with a suite of morphological, physiological, behavioral and ecological traits known as the adaptive syndrome or syndrome hypothesis. In snakes, an ecological correlate often reported in the literature is that ambush‐hunting snakes have a higher relative meal size compared to active...
Article
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Actuarial senescence appears to be a common process, and senescence patterns are highly variable across the tree of life. To date, studies on animal senescence have largely focused on model species, such as as fruit flies, humans and a few other endotherms. In contrast, our knowledge about ageing remains fragmentary in ectotherm vertebrates, such a...
Article
Turtles and tortoises (chelonians) have been integral components of global ecosystems for about 220 million years and have played important roles in human culture for at least 400,000 years. The chelonian shell is a remarkable evolutionary adaptation, facilitating success in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems. Today, more than half of th...
Article
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Comparative studies of mortality in the wild are necessary to understand the evolution of aging; yet, ectothermic tetrapods are underrepresented in this comparative landscape, despite their suitability for testing evolutionary hypotheses. We present a study of aging rates and longevity across wild tetrapod ectotherms, using data from 107 population...
Article
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Nile Crocodiles, Crocodylus niloticus, are widespread along the riverine systems and wetlands of East Africa, and may locally be involved into serious conflicts with local human communities. A research study was conducted to investigate Human-Crocodiles Conflicts (HCC) and its impacts on lives and livelihoods of local communities in the Sudd Wetlan...
Article
It is widely assumed that future climatic conditions, alongside their effect on local environments, will result in either a change in how species use their habitats or in a shift in species distributions. The Sahel region of Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to experience drastic changes in its average aridity and overall climate in the coming decades...
Article
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Beach-nesting birds (plovers; Aves; Charadridae) are impacted by many natural and human-induced threats (e.g., people trampling, dogs, and natural predators). In this regard, the use of anti-predator cages on their nests is effective in order to mitigate some of these pressures (i.e., predation). To evaluate the efficacy of anti-predator cages and...
Article
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In many tropical areas of high conservation concern there is still no evidence on the effectiveness of protected areas in protecting specific components of biodiversity. Here, to assess the management effectiveness of protected areas, we carried out a field sampling design for collecting data on waterbird communities within the Nibule National Park...
Article
We analysed the effects of body mass on the monthly activity patterns of six Mediterranean lacertid lizard taxa, four relatively small species, the Italian wall lizard (Podarcis siculus), the common wall lizard (Podarcis muralis), the blue-throated keeled lizard (Algyroides nigropunctatus), and the Ionian wall lizard (Podarcis ionicus), and two lar...
Article
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Polyphylla ragusae (Coleoptera Scarabaeidae) is an endemic beetle restricted to the island of Sicily (Italy). This species is among the most threatened invertebrates in Italy. Currently, scientific knowledge of the distribution and habitat selection of P. ragusae is scarce, though anecdotal observations suggest that the species is primarily found i...
Article
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Studies of animal communities along habitat gradients are useful in understanding the ecologicsl factors affecting species diversity and richness. Almost no investigations have been carried out on the community structure of vertebrate groups along habitat gradients modified by humans in historical or prehistoric times. Here, we analyze the communit...
Article
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The Sudd in South Sudan, formed by the White Nile's Baḥr al-Jabal section, is one of the largest and most important wetlands in the world. Communities in the region almost exclusively depend on fisheries for food and livelihoods. Although threatened by over-exploitation and habitat changes, fish populations are also affected by climate change. Usin...
Article
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Anoxia (Protanoxia) orientalis is a beetle of the family Melolonthidae for which Italy represents the western limit of its distribution. The ecology of this species is little known from the quantitative point of view. The ecological correlates of A. orientalis presence in the whole European range and, more specifically, at its western border in Sic...
Article
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We assessed numbers and biomass of species hunted and sold for wild meat in 12 park-adjacent settlements in the Fazao Malfakassa National Park (FMNP), Togo. From hunter interviews and market carcass counts 33 species, 28 from hunter interviews and 26 from market surveys were taken, respectively. A total of 2605 animals were recorded in the study, 1...
Article
Conservation strategies are mainly decided, also for tropical species and habitats, on the basis of studies and examples made in the temperate regions, especially in North America and Europe. Conservation strategies for tropical species are often thought to fail due to a plethora of « human dimension » reasons. These reasons are external to the nat...
Article
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The sexually dimorphic dynastine centaurus beetle, genus Augosoma (Coleoptera: Scarabeidae), is endemic to tropical Africa where two species are found (A. centaurus and A. hippocrates). These beetles are consumed by rural populations, cause damage in plantations and are targets of insect collectors and traders. We present information on size differ...
Article
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Wild meat markets play a crucial role for food security and cash income for subsistence hunters in the tropics and subtropics. In Nigeria, the amount of meat sold from most species crashed dramatically after the Ebola virus outbreak in 2014. Sales further diminished after arrival of COVID-19, likely because of restrictions to commerce and of change...
Article
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We re-examined the knowledge on the relationships between fauna and forest management in Italy. We focused our attention on Vertebrates, including small mammals (Rodents and Soricomorphs), bats, birds, reptiles and amphibians, and on carabid and saproxylic beetles. We found that nearly all groups respond in accordance with Angelstam’s scheme of the...
Article
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The adult sex-ratio of a widespread dynastine beetle characterized by remarkable sexual shape dimorphism, Phyllognathus excavatus (Forster, 1771), is reported herein for the first time with regards to the Italian populations. These beetles were studied in a coastal locality of Mediterranean central Italy (Latium), and showed a significantly female-...
Article
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Natural history observations were made, during August–September 2021, on a population of the ecologically poorly known Vesperus luridus (Cerambycidae) at a hilly locality of Latium, Central Italy. These beetles were searched for by night along a 170 m long transect, with the help of hand torches. During the field surveys, we recorded a total of 130...
Article
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Nowadays, Laos remains one of the scientifically least known countries of Asia in terms of herpetological knowledge. Here, we evaluate composition of species in freshwater ecosystems (main river courses) and terrestrial ecosystems (forests) in two distinct regions using Visual Encounter Surveys along designed transects, examination of fishers’ catc...
Article
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The snake communities in Asian tropical forests are relatively unknown, with most studies focusing on species lists. We investigated species composition, relative abundance, and community ecology of snakes in a mature secondary hilly forest area in the Quan Son District, northern Vietnam. To our knowledge, it is one of the few field investigations...
Article
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Prey choice is the non-random foraging and consumption of prey species by their predators, and is therefore the basis for studies of topics as diverse as quantifying food webs, predator-prey relationships, and optimal foraging models. Diamond-back Terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin) are diet generalists with a large geographic distribution, the U.S. At...
Article
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A body plan (= bauplan) is a suite of morphological characters shared by phylogenetically related animals at some point during their development. Despite its value, the bauplan concept is still rarely employed to characterize functional groups in community ecology. Here, we examine habitat use and spatio-temporal activity correlates of an entire se...
Article
Suitable habitats for anurans can be found in the ever-growing tropical urban environments but anurans’ adaptations to urban conditions, including their trophic ecology remain largely unknown. We studied the food habits of two generalist, widespread West African Sclerophrys adult toads: African common (S. regularis) and Hallowell's toad (S. maculat...
Article
Assessing community assembly rules has been a prominent task by community ecologists. Using a turtle family (Pelomedusidae) as a study case, we analyze the structure of their communities from the continental scale to the habitat scale, by using a suite of statistical approaches: (i) GIS modeling of the most complete presence sites dataset (from IUC...
Chapter
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The Sahelian Flapshell Turtle, Cyclanorbis senegalensis (family Trionychidae) is the most widely distributed of the African members of the trionychid subfamily Cyclanorbinae, occurring across the sub-Saharan Sahel region from Senegal to Ethiopia. It is a moderate sized, sexually size-dimorphic freshwater turtle with females (curved carapace length...
Technical Report
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Assessment of the species' status for Kinixys homeana. Previously considered as VU, this tortoise species is now reassessed as Critically Endangered (CR)
Article
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Capsule: Golden Eagles Aquila chrysaetos in Sardinia are clustered across the main mountain ranges of the island, with a preference for undisturbed and homogeneous inland habitats. Aims: To analyse habitat preferences of the Golden Eagle in Sardinia, Italy, at the landscape and home range spatial scales. Methods: Landscape scale habitat preferences...
Article
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Rafetus swinhoei is a giant freshwater turtle (>160 kg) and is the rarest turtle species in 30 the world, with just two individuals surviving in Vietnam and China (only one in the wild). Being on the brink of extinction, it is an absolute priority to search for additional individuals in the wild, and for new areas of potential presence. Here we ana...
Article
1. The Euphrates Softshell Turtle (Rafetus euphraticus) is the most threatened chelonian species in the Middle East, where it is endemic of the Tigris and Euphrates basins. Since this species is ecologically little known it is difficult to plan any reliable action for its correct management and conservation. 2. In order to enhance the scientific kn...
Article
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A survey conducted in Terekeka, Mangalla and Gemeiza, payams of Central Equatoria in South Sudan using face-to-face interviews, structured questionnaire and focused group discussion provided information on income generating strategies of fishing communities. These included: full time or part time fishing, small-scale farming, cattle breeding and fi...
Article
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The Cát Bà gecko Goniurosaurus catbaensis is endemic to Cát Bà and Ha Long islands of Vietnam. The ecology of this species is still scarcely studied but previous reports have suggested that the species is Endangered due to small population size and low ecological plasticity. We studied aspects of the ecology of this species between May 2019 and Jun...
Article
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The western whip snake is a habitat generalist, often found along woodland edges,where it forages widely. These snakes are extremely fast moving, so usually when basking or moving and encountering a potential predator their initial response will be to flee into cover. If caught or trapped they will bite fiercely and if this is ineffective some indi...
Article
en In Togo, the illegal trade of African elephant (Loxodonta africana ) ivory is widespread despite efforts made by the government to curtail these activities. By using data gathered from CITES institutions and natural resource management authorities in the country, we investigated the extent of ivory trafficking in Togo. We also conducted surveys...
Article
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Tropical regions host a large variety of animal species, representing the richest concentrations of biological diversity across the Earth [...]
Article
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The Goliath beetle (Goliathus goliatus) is one of the largest and most commercially valuable (for collection exports) beetle species worldwide, and occurs in West and Central Africa, with polymorphic populations being found in Benin, Eastern Nigeria, and Western Cameroun. The white morph is the most commercially valuable, and therefore is actively...
Article
South Sudan's biodiversity is threatened because of a plethora of reasons ranging from weak environmental regulation, poor development planning, overexploitation of wildlife, livestock and agricultural land expansion, climate change, political and armed con ict [1]. Climate change has already caused substantial ecological issues in the country. For...
Poster
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Due to a prolonged civil war (1983-2005 and 2013-2020), the republic of South Sudan in East Africa, which was officially born in 2011, has been one of the least investigated nations of the continent in terms of chelonian diversity, distribution, ecology, and conservation. Since 2017, this nation has been subjected to careful chelonian field investi...
Article
Despite increasing pressures on freshwater resources worldwide, and the threatened status of most freshwater turtles, there is still limited knowledge of habitat use and niche partitioning in Afrotropical freshwater turtle communities. In this study, we describe habitat associations, community diversity, and temporal patterns of occurrence of fresh...
Article
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The Nubian flapshell turtle (Cyclanorbis elegans; Trionychidae) is one of the most threatened species of turtles in the world and it has been recently rediscovered (year 2017) in a restricted area of South Sudan. Previous studies showed that fishing bycatch and collection of eggs and nesting females for domestic subsistence are the main threats for...
Article
The composition and structure of antelope assemblages were analyzed by using data from wild meat markets in three distinct study stations in the southern Niger Delta, Nigeria. The relative abundance of the different species coming into the markets was analyzed, and various diversity metrics were used to describe the different antelope communities....
Article
One of the most crucial issues in conservation science is to predict which species are more prone to decline within a subset of taxa. Applying theoretical ecology to inform conservation science may be helpful when evaluating the effects that a decline in the prey resource may have on the communities of given predators. Mean body size of rodent-eati...
Article
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Pangolins are considered among the most threatened mammal species, both globally and also in Africa. However, almost nothing is known on their status and distribution across wide areas of their range, particularly in West African countries. Here we assess the status and distribution of pangolin species in Togo. Fieldwork was carried out in five loc...
Article
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Terrestrial species from the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) are under high threat due to deforestation and overhunting. Previous studies have even defined these forests as subjected to an “empty forest syndrome”, a condition in which forests that are apparently well preserved are instead almost deprived of vertebrate faunas due to extreme e...
Article
Peninsular effect is an anomalous gradient in plant and animal species richness from base to tip of a given peninsula. This pattern has been studied intensely on various taxonomic groups, but with scarce attention for using standardized data. Here, using presence-absence data normalized by the field effort, the peninsular effect on the species rich...
Book
Full-text available
Di Nicola M.R., Cavigioli L., Luiselli L., Andreone F. (2021): Anfibi & Rettili d'Italia. Edizione aggiornata. Edizioni Belvedere, Latina, “historia naturae” (8), 576 pp.
Article
Ecological communities may be regulated by complicated spatial-temporal effects. For instance, local collapses of the prey resource may cause consequent collapses in predator abundance, with induced remarkable fluctuations in the population dynamics of predators. Recent studies suggest that the impact of an amphibian pathogen (Batrachochytrium dend...
Article
Full-text available
Citation: Luiselli, L.; Demaya, G.S.; Benansio, J.S.; Petrozzi, F.; Akani, G.C.; Eniang, E.A.; Ajong, S.N.; Di Vittorio, M.; Amadi, N.; Dendi, D. A Comparative Analysis of the Diets of a Genus of Freshwater Turtles across Africa. Diversity 2021, 13, 165.
Article
The chelonian fauna of West Africa is relatively understudied and experiencing a multitude of threats. Moreover, the IUCN Red List status of several African species is both outdated and, we believe, underestimated. Herein, we cover projections for freshwater turtle and tortoise status trends in West Africa over the next decade. This geographic prio...
Poster
Full-text available
Pelusios is an Afrotropical endemic genus of freshwater turtles that have adapted to a variety of habitats, with savannahs and forests being their two main habitat types. Although considered generally carnivorous, these turtles have rarely been subjected to detailed field surveys for determining their quantitative diet. In this paper, by using both...
Article
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Lizard thermoregulation is costly and is largely behavioural. Podarcis raffonei, endemic of few islets of the Aeolian archipelago (southern Italy), is one of the most threatened lizards in Europe, its survival being under threat also due to the presence of the congeneric P. siculus, a successful invader characterised by behavioural plasticity and e...
Article
en The waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus), though widespread throughout Africa, is suspected to be declining overall. Data on population numbers and structure are lacking for many parts of its range, especially in West Africa, where the subspecies defassa is found. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the abundance, distribution and attribute...
Article
Ebola virus disease, EVD, which has severely affected Western African countries has been linked with wild meat. In Nigeria, strict restrictions on the sale of wild meat were applied after the first case in the country, July 2014. We quantified wild meat trade in nine markets in southern Nigeria, during Oct. 2010 – Dec. 2019. We also undertook inter...
Article
Freshwater turtles and tortoises are among the most threatened vertebrates on Earth, with South-East Asiatic species in general, and a few softshell species (for instance, Rafetus swinhoei) being the most threatened among the various world chelonian species. In their recent letter, “China’s turtles need protection in the wild”, Wang et al. (2021) s...
Article
In their recent report "The influence of juvenile dinosaurs on community structure and diversity" (26 February 2021), Schroeder et al. presented strong quantitative support for the "ontogenetic niche shift" (ONS) concept, which attempts to explain the wide, bi-modal body size distribution of dinosaur species communities compared to extant mammalian...
Article
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Most species of lizard are either diurnal or nocturnal, and it is extremely rare to find species that operate both diurnally and nocturnally, or that may shift from diurnality to partial nocturnality when conditions allow. However, niche expansion from diurnal to nocturnal habits (often referred to as the night-light niche) has rarely been reported...
Article
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Resource partitioning, the division of limited resources by species to help avoid competition , has been observed in freshwater turtle assemblages in several natural systems but has rarely been studied in tropical African ecosystems. Here, we investigate habitat preferences of two conge-neric species in the family Pelomedusidae, Pelusios castaneus...
Article
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We are pleased to launch the new peer-reviewed open access journal, Conservation, published by MDPI (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute), which offers an exciting new opportunity to publish comprehensive reviews, original research articles, communications, case reports, letters, commentaries, and other perspectives related to the biolog...