Nikica Sprem

Nikica Sprem
University of Zagreb · Faculty of Agriculture (AGR) - Department of Fisheries, Apiculture, Wildlife management and special Zoology

PhD

About

129
Publications
61,092
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1,567
Citations
Citations since 2016
80 Research Items
1377 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250300
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250300
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250300
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250300
Additional affiliations
September 2017 - present
University of Zagreb
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (129)
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In the early 20th century, mouflons were introduced in Croatia, while introductions in Slovenia occurred in the 1950s and 1960s. Since the introduction, populations in both countries have remained stable, with occasional declines and increases in some areas. Our aim was to: i) determine the origin of introduced mouflons, ii) compare the neutral and...
Chapter
The earliest known fossils of Axis are dated to the late Miocene in China. The axis deer is usually considered monotypic (Fig. 1). The monophyly of Axis (besides the chital, there are three other acknowledged species: A. calamianensis, A. kuhlii, and A. porcinus) has been corroborated by recent molecular and morphological phylogenetic studies. Ther...
Chapter
This comprehensive species-specific chapter covers all aspects of the mammalian biology, including paleontology, physiology, genetics, reproduction and development, ecology, habitat, diet, mortality, and behavior. The economic significance and management of mammals and future challenges for research and conservation are addressed as well. The chapt...
Article
Full-text available
The translocation of wild animal species became a common practice worldwide to re-establish local populations threatened with extinction. Archaeological data confirm that chamois once lived in the Biokovo Mountain but, prior to their reintroduction in the 1960s, there was no written evidence of their recent existence in the area. The population was...
Code
Terrestrial Aquatic Species Invasiveness Screening Kit (v2.3.3)
Article
The European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) is one of the most numerous and widespread ungulate species in Europe, which has complicated the assessment of its genetic diversity on a range-wide scale. In this study, we present the mitochondrial DNA control region (mtDNA CR) genetic diversity and population structure of roe deer in Europe based on th...
Article
Full-text available
The Balkan chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra balcanica) is widespread on the Balkan Peninsula, along mountain massifs from Croatia in the north to Greece in the south and Bulgaria in the east. Knowledge on the genetic structure of Balkan chamois populations is limited and restricted to local studies. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to us...
Article
Full-text available
To provide the most comprehensive picture of species phylogeny and phylogeography of European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), we analyzed mtDNA control region (610 bp) of 1469 samples of roe deer from Central and Eastern Europe and included into the analyses additional 1541 mtDNA sequences from GenBank from other regions of the continent. We detect...
Article
Full-text available
Electronic decision-support tools are becoming an essential component of government strategies to tackle non-native species invasions. This study describes the development and application of a multilingual electronic decision-support tool for screening terrestrial animals under current and future climate conditions: the Terrestrial Animal Species I...
Article
Full-text available
The chamois Rupicapra spp. is the most abundant mountain ungulate of Europe and the Near East, where it occurs as two species , the northern chamois R. rupicapra and the southern chamois R. pyrenaica. Here, we provide a state-of-the-art overview of research trends and the most challenging issues in chamois research and conservation, focusing on tax...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the drivers of species distribution ranges and population genetic structure can help predict species' responses to global change, while mitigating threats to biodiversity through effective conservation measures. Here, we combined species habitat suitability through time with process‐based models and genomic data to investigate the rol...
Article
Full-text available
The rapid progress of sequencing technology has greatly facilitated the de novo genome assembly of pig breeds. However, the assembly of the wild boar genome is still lacking, hampering our understanding of chromosomal and genomic evolution during domestication from wild boars into domestic pigs. Here, we sequenced and de novo assembled a European w...
Article
Abstract This report presents the results of field activities in relation to the generation of reliable wild boar density values by camera trapping (CT) in 19 areas in Europe, mainly in East Europe. Random Encounter Model (REM) densities ranged from 0.35±0.24 to 15.25±2.41 (SE) individuals/km2. No statistical differences in density among bioregion...
Preprint
Full-text available
To provide the most comprehensive picture of species phylogeny and phylogeography of European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), we analysed mtDNA control region (610 bp) of 1469 samples of roe deer from Central and Eastern Europe and included into the analyses additional 1541 mtDNA sequences from GenBank from other regions of the continent. We detect...
Article
Full-text available
Methods for estimating population densities of unmarked species using camera traps are still under development. One such method is called "Random Encounter Model (REM)" and, to our knowledge, has never been used to estimate densities of mountaindwelling ungulates. In this study, we tested the REM method to estimate the density of Balkan chamois ( R...
Article
Full-text available
Habitat fragmentation and loss have contributed significantly to the demographic decline of European wildcat populations and hybridization with domestic cats poses a threat to the loss of genetic purity of the species. In this study we used microsatellite markers to analyse genetic variation and structure of the wildcat populations from the area be...
Article
Full-text available
The axis deer (Axis axis) is a species of ungulate native to the Indian subcontinent. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the axis deer was introduced to many regions of the world, where it established non-native free-ranging populations. The introduction of the axis deer to Croatia resulted in three populations that still live on the Adriatic islands....
Article
Full-text available
Sympatric species with similar niches compete for common resources, often resulting in spatio-temporal avoidance. To date, little is known about the spatio-temporal interactions of ungulates in forested habitats. Using camera traps, we investigated the spatio-temporal responses of alpine chamois to the presence of red deer in the mountain forests o...
Article
Full-text available
The conservation value of transboundary management of wildlife populations in Europe, that marked end of the 20 th and the beginning of the 21 th century, has come under huge pressure since 2015 especially in the Southeastern Europe due to border fences construction in response to large influxes of refugees/migrants. The primary aim of this study w...
Article
Full-text available
The Northern chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra) is a weakly polygynous species widely distributed in the mountain regions of Europe and the Near East. The Balkan chamois (R. r. balcanica) occurs in the mountain regions of southeastern Europe, and its ecology and behavior during the rut are largely unknown, making it one of the most understudied subspeci...
Article
Full-text available
The aoudad (Ammotragus lervia Pallas 1777) is an ungulate species, native to the mountain ranges of North Africa. In the second half of the twentieth century, it was successfully introduced in some European countries, mainly for hunting purposes, i.e. in Croatia, the Czech Republic, Italy, and Spain. We used neutral genetic markers, the mitochondri...
Article
Full-text available
Species range expansions and (re)colonization of landscapes variously dominated by humans occur on a global scale. Understanding such range enlargements and subsequent changes in the composition of ecological communities is important for conservation management, and the golden jackal (Canis aureus) can be considered a model species for regional and...
Preprint
Full-text available
Habitat fragmentation and loss have contributed significantly to the demographic decline of European wildcat populations and hybridization with domestic cats poses a threat to the loss of genetic purity of the species. In this study we used microsatellite markers to analyse genetic variation and structure of the wildcat populations from the area be...
Chapter
This comprehensive species-specific chapter covers all aspects of the mammalian biology, including paleontology, physiology, genetics, reproduction and development, ecology, habitat, diet, mortality, and behavior. The economic significance and management of mammals and future challenges for research and conservation are addressed as well. The cha...
Article
Full-text available
Although the two species of chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra and R. pyrenaica) are currently classified as least-concern by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), inconsistencies on the subspecies classification reported in literature make it challenging to assess the conservation status of the single subspecies. Previous studies re...
Article
Full-text available
Grey wolf (Canis lupus) populations are expanding across Europe, which leads to increase in their interactions with people and domestic animals, including dogs. Attacks on hunting dogs are becoming a major cause for conflicts between wolves and hunters in many countries, including Croatia, where this conflict has increased dramatically in recent ye...
Conference Paper
The chamois, genus Rupicapra, is the most abundant mountain-dwelling ungulate in Europe and the Near East and is currently recognized to be divided into two species: R. rupicapra (Northern chamois) and R. pyrenaica (Southern chamois) further divided into seven and three subspecies, respectively. While neither of the species is of conservation conce...
Conference Paper
After a strong demographic decline before World War II, wild boar (Sus scrofa) populations are expanding and the species is now the second-most abundant ungulate in Europe. This increase raises concerns due to wild boar impact on agriculture and natural ecosystems and as potential vector of disease transmissions. The population expansion is the res...
Article
Full-text available
In order to define the spatial interface between wild boar and domestic pigs in Europe, the ENETWILD consortium (www.enetwild.com) described in a preliminary report the different sources of data for domestic pigs at European scale, and developed a preliminary risk map of possible spatial interaction between both groups. This model explored and asse...
Article
Full-text available
Although game meat quality has been under the spotlight in numerous studies, the quality of brown bear (Ursus arctos) meat is still unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of sex and age on the proximate chemical composition, fatty acid profile, and lipid indices of brown bear meat. Nine (n = 9) females and nine (n = 9) males we...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Rupicapra rupicapra - IUCN reassessment 2020
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The chamois, genus Rupicapra, is the most abundant mountain-dwelling ungulate in Europe and the Middle East and is currently recognised to be divided into two species: Rupicapra rupicapra (Northern chamois) and Rupicapra pyrenaica (Southern chamois), which are further subdivided into seven and three subspecies respectively. Although currently class...
Article
Variability of the DRB locus of MHC genes class II in red deer (Cervus elaphus) from a mountain region of Croatia. vet. arhiv 90, 385-392, 2020. ABStrACt Red deer (Cervus elaphus) are large indigenous mammals in Croatia. Even though Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) genes play a pivotal role in initiating immune response, there are no reports...
Article
Full-text available
Genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) code for cell surface proteins essential for adaptive immunity. They show the most outstanding genetic diversity in vertebrates, which has been connected with various fitness traits and thus with the long-term persistence of populations. In this study, polymorphism of the MHC class II DRB locus wa...
Article
Full-text available
Genetic characterisation of wild ungulates can be a useful tool in wildlife management and in obtaining a greater understanding of their biological and ecological roles in a wider spatiotemporal context. Different ways of optimising methodologies and reducing the costs of genetic analyses using widely available bone tissues collected within regular...
Article
Full-text available
An increasing number of countries are becoming aware of the presence of non-native species that may exhibit invasive features and cause biodiversity loss. A two-year camera trap survey was performed on Mt. Mosor, Croatia to determine the daily and seasonal activity patterns of recently introduced non-native aoudad. Aoudad was most active in open ro...
Article
Floodplain forests with regular flooding regimes are the largest natural retentions areas in Croatia and are important as natural habitats for ungulates. The aim of this study was to determine the scale of mortality caused by flooding within these forests. Over a 10-year period, data on ungulate mortality (red deer, roe deer and wild boar), flood d...
Article
Full-text available
English The brown trout Salmo trutta Linnaeus, 1758 is wildly distributed in Europe and Asia; it is native to the Danube basin and non-native to the Adriatic Basin of Croatia. This species inhabit most of streams at the Žumberak-Samobor Mountain. Brown trout has been introduced and translocated into suitable environments globally as well as in Croa...
Article
Full-text available
The expression of sexually selected traits in highly dimorphic ungulates may be influenced by environmental quality. Variations in habitat conditions can impose different constraints on the allocation of energy resources to male life-history traits, and possibly alter the female preferences for specific features. Here, we compared the horn growth p...
Article
The chamois is widely perceived as a strictly high-elevation ungulate, though its spatial behavior suggests fairly high phenotypic plasticity and long-range dispersal abilities. Here, we describe and discuss five events of ‘unconventional’ habitat use by chamois, i.e., individuals found swimming in the sea of Croatia and Spain, between 2004 and 201...
Article
During the early 1900s, Northern chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra) populations in the northern Dinaric Mountains were extirpated. During the 1960s and 1970s there were several reintroductions of individuals from two Northern chamois subspecies (Alpine chamois, R. r. rupicapra and Balkan chamois, R. r. balcanica) from neighbouring areas in the attempt t...
Article
Full-text available
The aoudad is a bovid species native to North Africa and highly adaptable to different environments. Although some morphological data of aoudad has been published, the research mostly dealt with measurements taken from captive populations. Therefore, morphological data of free-ranging populations in their non-native habitat is largely unknown. The...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
Full-text available
The development of horns in Caprinae can be largely influenced by food-limiting factors such as population density and climate, as well as by negative evolutionary responses to size-selective harvesting. In this study, we investigated the effects of population density, environmental covariates and trophy hunting on horn development in a population...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Balkan chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra balcanica) inhabits the south part of the species distribution in Europe. It prefers rocky habitat with steep slopes, thus low valleys tend to constitute a barrier to gene-flow. The subspecies is currently protected in some countries and hunted in others. Knowledge on the genetic composition of this subspecies is...
Article
Full-text available
The phylogeography of the European wild boar was mainly determined by postglacial recolonization patterns from Mediterranean refugia after the last ice age. Here we present the first analysis of SNP polymorphism within the complete mtDNA genome of West Russian (n = 8), European (n = 64), and North African (n = 5) wild boar. Our analyses provided ev...
Article
Full-text available
Muscle, liver and kidney of 21 Barbary sheep (Ammotragus lervia) from Mosor Mountain, Croatia, were sampled to quantify the activity of caesium and potassium radionuclides, five toxic and ten essential stabile elements in order to establish reference values for this species and to evaluate the potential of Barbary sheep tissues to reflect environme...
Article
Full-text available
At the beginning of the 20th century, the middle section of the Sava River in Croatia was unaffected by major human activities and rich in ichthyofauna. The Sava River was important for commercial and recreational fishing for the local population, which still remains today. However, the 1920s mining industry was established in Slovenia, which emitt...
Article
Full-text available
ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to determine the seasonal activity patterns and asynchrony between different antler stages in male axis deer from the Mediterranean island of Rab in Croatia using camera traps. Nine cameras with an infrared motion detection system were used to track animal activity over a 12-month period, 24 hours per day. Stags w...
Article
Full-text available
Chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra) is a mountain-dwelling ungulate inhabiting predominantly rocky habitat with steep slopes. Since it mostly inhabits boreal habitats at high altitudes, low valleys tend to separate populations, thereby limiting gene flow. In the present study, we genotyped 54 georeferenced chamois using 20 SSR loci to test the influence...
Article
Full-text available
After a strong demographic decline before World War II, wild boar populations are expanding and the species is now the second-most abundant ungulate in Europe. This increase raises concerns due to wild boar impact on crops and natural ecosystems and as potential vector of diseases. Additionally, wild boar can hybridize with domestic pigs, which co...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this research, we aimed to assess the influence of forest succession on the density of Balkan chamois population on Mt Biokovo. To calculate the percentage of forest cover increase, we analysed forest vegetation coverage from two periods (1968 and 2016). In 1968, 18% of the analyzed area was covered with forest/shrub, while in 2016 50% of the ar...
Article
The wild boar is an ancestor of the domestic pig and an important game species with the widest geographical range of all ungulates. Although a large amount of data are available on major histocompatibility complex (MHC) variability in domestic pigs, only a few studies have been performed on wild boars. Due to their crucial role in appropriate immun...
Article
Hybridisation and gene introgression are important sources of diversification, the relevance of which in the evolutionary processes is well recognised. Their fitness consequences in animal populations, however, are not sufficiently well understood, despite hybridisation rates becoming increasingly important worldwide following human‐related activit...
Article
Full-text available
The Dinaric region is the natural habitat of the Alpine chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra rupicapra) and Balkan chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra balcanica). Recently confirmed, these two subspecies hybridize in the contact zone on Mts. Velebit, coastal Croatia. Patterns of horn development in chamois can differ within populations and subspecies, and are mos...
Article
Full-text available
Spatial range expansion during population colonization is characterized by demographic events that may have significant effects on the efficiency of natural selection. Population genetics suggests that genetic drift brought by small effective population size (Ne) may undermine the efficiency of selection, leading to a faster accumulation of nonsyno...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to determine the locomotor activity pattern of European mouflon and axis deer in a Mediterranean habitat on the island of Rab, and to determine the temporal overlap between these two species. Nine cameras with an infrared motion detection system were used to track animal activity over a 12-month period, 24 hours per day. A...
Article
Full-text available
Reports on the parasitic fauna of wildcats (Felis silvestris silvestris) are rare and often based on a small sample size, therefore the goal of this research was to investigate the prevalence of endoparasites in wildcats in Croatia. Necropsy was conducted on 34 adult wildcats killed in traffic or provided by hunters following regular hunting operat...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
During 2013 and 2014, a 348 bp fragment has been analysed of the control region of mtDNA of 60 domestic pigs and 95 wild boars from Croatia and Albania (SPREM et al., 2014). Thirteen haplotypes were determined in the mitochondrial sequences of Croatian indigenous pigs and in wild pigs from Albania and Croatia. Black Slavonian pigs shared one haplot...
Article
Full-text available
The part of the River Danube basin in the Western Balkans region (11 sampled localities and 57 in total with using of published data) revealed the remarkable diversity of brown trout assessed using the Control Region (CR) of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) as a molecular marker. The greatest number of brown trout populations holds brown trout of the Da1...
Article
Full-text available
Invasive alien species (IAS) are a significant and growing problem worldwide. In Europe, some aspects of IAS have been addressed through existing legal instruments, but these are far from sufficient to tackle the problem in a comprehensive manner. The Top 20 IAS issues for Europe were determined at the 1st Freshwater Invasives - Networking for Stra...
Article
Full-text available
Geometric morphometrics analyses are now often used methods to examine morphological variation in carnivore skull. Differences in golden jackal skull shape and size due to sexual dimorphism were examined using two dimensional geometric morphometrics approach. A total of 21 landmarks described the dorsal side of the skull and lateral side of the man...
Article
Full-text available
In November 2015, Slovenia erected a technical security barrier in the form of a razor-wired fence along the most exposed parts (178 km) of the Slovenia-Croatia border. Over a ten-month period (11 November 2015 – 11 September 2016), carcasses of 21 ungulates (13 red deer and 8 roe deer) and two grey herons were found entangled in the razor-wired fe...