Article

Presence of Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus) in relation to land cover, livestock and human influence in Portugal

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  • BE - Bioinsight & Ecoa
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Abstract

From June 2005 to March 2007, we investigated wolf presence in an area of 1000 km2 in central northern Portugal by scat surveys along line transects. We aimed at predicting wolf presence by developing a habitat model using land cover classes, livestock density and human influence (e.g. population and road density). We confirmed the presence of three wolf packs by kernel density distribution analysis of scat location data and detected their rendezvous sites by howling simulations. Wolf habitats were char- acterized by lower human presence and higher densities of livestock. The model, developed by binary logistic regression, included the variables livestock and road density and correctly predicted 90.7% of areas with wolf presence. Wolves avoided the closer surroundings of villages and roads, as well as the general proximity to major roads. Our results show that the availability of prey (here: livestock) is the most important factor for wolf presence and that wolves can coexist with humans even in areas of poor land cover, unless these areas are excessively fragmented by anthropogenic infrastructures.

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... Wolf abundance can be estimated with direct methods rather than indirect ones or, indeed, with a combination of both, the latter being highlighted by Llaneza et al. (1998) as the most effective procedure. In addition, while it is true that more reliable estimates of wolf abundance are obtained from direct methods, an index based on the number of livestock attacks by wolves can be used to roughly estimate wolf relative abundance (Kusak et al. 2005;Hosseini-Zavarei et al. 2013), by considering the availability of livestock as the most important factor determining wolf frequency (Uzal and Llaneza 2010;Eggermann et al. 2011). Livestock attacks largely correspond to confirmed wolf presence (Pimenta et al. 2005) and are considered a useful tool to assess the presence of dispersed individuals, the emergence and establishment of the wolf in new areas and also in feeding studies (Dos Santos Reis and López 1997;Alexandre et al. 2000;Urios et al. 2000). ...
... Each attack location was georeferenced and assigned to the drives within a 2.5 km radius, according to the wolf's area of activity (Ciucci et al. 1997;Jedrzejewski et al. 2002;Kusak et al. 2005;Llaneza et al. 2011). Wolf frequency was calculated as the sum of the wolf attacks on livestock per month during the hunting season (September to February) (Kusak et al. 2005;Eggermann et al. 2011;Hosseini-Zavarei et al. 2013). ...
... This kind of analytical approach has recently been highlighted in the context of body condition measures (Serrano et al. 2008; see also Santos et al. 2013), and it has potential to be used in ecological modeling. Many studies have attempted to determine the prey preference of wolves, and hence the species more heavily influenced by wolf population dynamics (Nowak et al. 2005;Eggermann et al. 2011;Wagner et al. 2012). Wolf preferential consumption of wild boar has been reported in some regions of Europe (Garzón-Heydt 1991;Rosell et al. 2001;Eggermann et al. 2011;Llaneza et al. 2011;Davis et al. 2012) due to the higher abundance and availability of this species in the local ungulate community (e.g. ...
Article
The population dynamics of wild ungulates, particularly wild boar (Sus scrofa), are modulated by biotic (e.g. predation) and abiotic (environmental) determinants. Despite the evident potential interference of predation in the environmental patterns of wild boar population abundance, studies including both predation and abiotic factors are scarce. Here, using spatially explicit predictive models, we investigated the effects of habitat features on the relative abundance of wild boar populations and how the abundance of boars is related to frequency of Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus; hereafter, wolf) in the area. Wild boar relative abundance was determined by hunting bag statistics, including hunting effort-related variables (in order to avoid problems derived from modeling rates) as covariates, while wolf attacks to livestock were considered as a proxy of wolf frequency in the drive. After modeling, variation partitioning procedures were used to determine the relative importance of each factor and their overlaid effects. Our results showed that wild boar and wolf relative abundances are associated. According to previous knowledge on the wild boar ecology, we found that the species abundance is positively related to the percentage of surface occupied by mature forest and heather providing high food diversity and refuge, but these environmental variables achieved a low explanatory capacity in the models in relation to wolf frequency. The holistic approach followed in this study was attended to open new perspectives for thinking on the wolf-livestock conflict and to adequate wild boar management strategies taking into account hunting interests and natural processes.
... No entanto, em algumas áreas, com altas densidades humanas e em altos níveis de transformação da paisagem, esta espécie é capaz de perdurar, sugerindo que haja uma variação regional na sensibilidade da espécie aos seres humanos e às suas atividades (p.e. estradas, veículos e turismo) (Eggermann et al., 2010;Llaneza et al., 2012). A fragmentação dos habitats por novas estradas, a diminuição da cobertura florestal causada por incêndios, as novas plantações em áreas anteriormente não cultivadas e a falta de presas selvagens também são ameaças para as populações de lobos. ...
... Embora os lobos consigam sobreviver nos mais diversos tipos de habitat, parece haver pelo menos dois fatores ambientais principais limitantes: a cobertura vegetal necessária para se esconderem das atividades humanas e a disponibilidade mínima de recursos alimentares (Boitani, 2000), levando a que a atual expansão da espécie leve, frequentemente, a conflitos com os seres humanos, especialmente nas áreas de criação de gado (Eggermann et al., 2010). ...
... A extensão humana é um fator importante que condiciona a presença do lobo, levando a que as áreas com maior presença antropogénica (densidade populacional, densidade de estradas e áreas urbanas) sejam evitadas por esta espécie (Eggermann et al., 2010;Llaneza et al., 2012), embora, a sua capacidade de adaptação, permita-lhe tolerar níveis elevados de humanização. Segundo Llaneza et al. (2012) a força da pressão humana, como os atributos da paisagem, têm maior impacto na ocorrência do lobo do que propriamente os seres humanos. ...
Thesis
Full-text available
The Iberian wolf, Canis lupus signatus (Cabrera, 1907), is an endemic species of the Iberian Peninsula. It used to be widely distributed in Portugal, but by 1930 its populations declined, leading to its disappearance from the coastal, south and central regions of the country. This decline was in part consequence of the degradation and fragmentation of the habitat, the reduction of wild prey and of the ancestral persecution of the species by Man, as result of the attacks on livestock, despite its high ecological and trophic plasticity. Diet studies are important in the demand of conservation tools which minimize conflict with different stakeholders. The main aim of the present work was to study the diet of a small isolated pack in the Northeast of Trás-os-Montes (Portugal), denominated Mogadouro Sul, through the analysis of scats obtained between 2015 and the beginning of 2017. The specific origin of all samples analysed (n=78) was confirmed by molecular analysis. Prior to the analysis of the diet, based on the techniques of trichology, was created a reference collection of the main prey species present in the study area (Mogadouro county), both domestic and wild ones. The results showed that domestic animals were the most frequent food category of wolf diet (78,3 % FO), with a special incidence in goats (40,6 % FO). Wild ungulates, such as roe deer and wild boar, although both are present throughout the study area, represented only 21,7 % FO of the same. Seasonal analysis of the diet revealed a major consumption of domestic animals in summer and fall, but the goats consisted a regular food resource during the year. Sheep had more importance in summer (basic resource) and constituted a regular resource in the remaining seasons. The dog was always present in the wolf's diet, except in winter. The most consumed wild prey was the wild boar, establishing a regular resource during the year, increasing its importance in spring (basic resource) where equated the % FO of goats (36,4 % FO). Considering the feeding habits between the reproductive and non-reproductive periods, there were significant differences in the consumption of domestic prey between both (p<0.05), with higher consumption in the non-reproductive one. In a trophic level, the studied pack presented a low diversity (H'=0.65) and breadth of the food niche (AN=0.55), with a degree of specialization in the domestic ungulates, mainly goats, in part consequence of the size of the pack. These feeding habits can generate a threat in the pack conservation, due to the persecution that it can be targeted.
... However, recent studies in Europe highlighted the adaptive capabilities of wolves, with the species found to be present in areas with average road densities as high as 1.2 km/km 2 (Theuerkauf et al. 2003;Jedrzejewski et al. 2005;Llaneza et al. 2012), reaching even 1.9 km/km 2 in some areas of the Iberian Peninsula (Dennehy et al. 2013). Wolf responses to road accessibilities are also dependent on several cumulative factors, such as habitat quality, human density and prey availability (Eggermann et al. 2011;Llaneza et al. 2012). Furthermore, the expansion of new traffic accessibilities can cause an increase in human-related mortality on wolves (Zimmermann et al. 2014), presenting a significant negative impact particularly during sensitive periods such as the breeding season. ...
... Although wolves are often considered a symbol of wilderness and remote places (Mech and Boitani 2003), in the Iberian Peninsula and particularly in Portugal, this carnivore has been living in a very humanised landscape for several centuries, and has adapted to human presence, activities and persecution (Álvares et al. 2011;Eggermann et al. 2011, Llaneza et al. 2012. Wolves can live wherever they have enough food and are not killed by humans (Mech and Boitani 2003), and in Portugal those conditions mostly occur in the mountainous areas of the North and Centre (between 800 m and 1500 m above sea level), which became their stronghold due to lower human density, difficult accessibility and higher prey availability (Grilo et al. 2002;Eggermann et al. 2011). ...
... Although wolves are often considered a symbol of wilderness and remote places (Mech and Boitani 2003), in the Iberian Peninsula and particularly in Portugal, this carnivore has been living in a very humanised landscape for several centuries, and has adapted to human presence, activities and persecution (Álvares et al. 2011;Eggermann et al. 2011, Llaneza et al. 2012. Wolves can live wherever they have enough food and are not killed by humans (Mech and Boitani 2003), and in Portugal those conditions mostly occur in the mountainous areas of the North and Centre (between 800 m and 1500 m above sea level), which became their stronghold due to lower human density, difficult accessibility and higher prey availability (Grilo et al. 2002;Eggermann et al. 2011). At these domains, the landscape is dominated by rocky scrublands, with scarce forest cover due to livestock grazing and wild fires. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Due to the technical and functional characteristics of wind turbines, impact assessment studies have focused mainly on flying vertebrates. Nevertheless, evidence from the little available knowledge indicates potential impacts on large terrestrial mammals resulting from habitat fragmentation and increasing human disturbance. Over the last 15 years, more than 900 wind turbines were built inside the range of the Portuguese wolf. Due to the endangered status of this large carnivore in Portugal, several monitoring plans were conducted, resulting in a reasonable amount of information being collected on the effects of wind farms on wolves. We reviewed the methodological approaches, compiled major findings and summarised the mitigation/compensation measures used in Portuguese wind farms. The overall outcomes show increasing human disturbance in wind farm areas, resulting in lower wolf reproduction rates during construction and the first years of operation, as well as shifts in denning site locations of more than 2.5 km away from the wind farm. These findings are of major concern in humanised landscapes, where suitable wolf breeding habitats are reduced. As precautionary measure, new wind farm projects should be restricted in areas that are closer than 2 km from known wolf denning locations.
... This information was recently updated through the review of unpublished reports from environmental impact assessment and monitoring studies, which retrieved data for about 70% of the packs recorded in 2003, suggesting that the wolf population has remained largely stable in 2004-2013 (Álvares et al., 2015). Wolves in Portugal mostly feed on livestock in several areas of its range (Vos, 2000;Álvares et al., 2015;Torres et al., 2015c), and livestock availability is one of the factors affecting species occurrence in the country (Eggermann et al., 2011, Grilo et al., 2018. However, wolves also feed on wild ungulates, which represent the main food source in some areas (Álvares et al., 2015). ...
... We quantified human population density (INE, 2011a), the proportions of five dominant land cover classes (EEA, 2016) and terrain metrics (NASA, 2011), as proxies of potential habitat suitability for wolves (e.g. Eggermann et al., 2011;Falcucci et al., 2013). We calculated livestock abundance from the density of livestock heads registered in each parish, obtained from the national agricultural census of 2009 (INE, 2011b). ...
... The wolf presence effect was directly supported by a strong negative relation between predation probability and distance to centre of activity of the nearest pack. This effect was also supported indirectly through the association between high predation probabilities and environmental characteristics known to be associated with wolf presence in human-dominated landscapes, namely high elevation, which in turn is associated with low human population density, and land cover dominated by shrubland (Falcucci et al., 2013;Eggermann et al., 2011;Milanesi et al., 2015;Grilo et al., 2018). The effects of prey availability were supported by the positive relations between predation probability and livestock densities, which strongly affects wolf distribution in human-dominated landscapes (e.g. ...
Article
Predation on livestock is a source of human-wildlife conflicts and can undermine the conservation of large car-nivores. To design effective mitigation strategies, it is important to understand the determinants of predation across livestock species, which often differ in husbandry practices, vulnerability to predators and economic value. Moreover, attention should be given to both predation occurrence and intensity, because these can have different spatial patterns and predictors. We used spatial risk modelling to quantify factors affecting wolf predation on five livestock species in Portugal. Within the 1619 parishes encompassing the entire wolf range in the country, the national wolf compensation scheme recorded 17,670 predation events in 2009-2015, each involving one or more livestock species: sheep (31.7%), cattle (27.7%), goats (26.8%), horses (14.8%) and donkeys (3.2%). Models built with 2009-2013 data and validated with 2014-2015 data, showed a shared general pattern of predation probability on each species increasing with its own density and proximity to wolf packs. For some species there were positive relations with the density of other livestock species, and with habitat variables such as altitude, and land cover by shrubland and natural pastures. There was also a general pattern for predation intensity on each species increasing with its own density, while proximity to wolf packs had no significant effects. Predation intensity on goats, cattle and horses increased with the use of communal versus private pastures. Our results suggest that although predation may occur wherever wolves coexist with livestock species, high predation intensity is mainly restricted to particular areas where husbandry practices increase the vulnerability of animals, and this is where mitigation efforts should concentrate.
... Iberian wolves frequently feed on domestic animals and persist in a highly human-dominated landscape (Álvares, 2011;Blanco, Reig, & Cuesta, 1992) with limited suitable conditions for den sites and puprearing areas, generally known as breeding-sites or home-sites (Eggermann, Ferrão-da-Costa, Guerra, Kirchner, & Petrucci-Fonseca, 2010;Llaneza, López-Bao, & Sazatornil, 2011;Person & Russell, 2009). The majority of fire ignitions and burnt area occur in northern and central Portugal (Nunes, 2012), creating a wide overlap with current wolf range and being a driver of habitat disturbance for this large carnivore. ...
... At the regional scale we sought to address (1) which landscape attributes, including fire descriptors, are related to wolf persistence; and (2) whether fire occurrence contribute to the local wolf extinctions. Based upon these questions we hypothesized that fire disturbance in a human-dominated landscape is a significant factor influencing the occurrence of wolf populations, due to low availability of forest cover for refuge and high exposure to human persecution (Eggermann et al., 2010;Grilo et al., 2018). At a local level, we sought to address questions related to wolf breeding-site selection and reuse a year after the fire. ...
... We primarily considered 31 land use classes (CLC level 3 category) that were then reclassified into five land cover variables reflecting vegetation structure and the potential for refuge: Urban Areas, Agricultural Land, Forest, Shrubland and Open Areas (Appendix 1). The selected land cover types are considered relevant for wolf occurrence according to previous studies (Eggermann et al., 2010;Grilo et al., 2002). The extent (in hectares) of each land cover type was calculated for each 100 km 2 UTM square. ...
Article
Wildfires are a main driver of habitat disturbance, influencing landscape structure and resource availability. Large carnivores are expected to experience strong effects as recently burned areas influence prey availability and suitable conditions for refuge and breeding. However, there are substantial knowledge gaps regarding the interplay between fire and landscape attributes affecting large carnivore occurrence. In this work, we aim to assess the effects of fire in relation to human density, elevation, and land cover in determining wolf (Canis lupus) occurrence at two spatial scales. A regional scale considering temporal shifts in wolf distribution at country level (Portugal) and a local scale considering breeding-site selection and reuse from 11 packs. We hypothesized that fire disturbance in a human-dominated landscape is a significant factor influencing wolf occurrence. Our results showed that wolves persisted in areas with higher altitudes, lower forest cover and intensive fire regimes. Breeding-sites were located at higher altitudes, in land covers less prone to human activity and disturbance, but subjected to a higher burnt extent, although with no significant association between breeding-site displacement and fire occurrence. The multiple-scale approach demonstrated wolves’ remarkable resilience to fire, persisting and breeding in a human-dominated landscape under intensive fire regimes. However, burnt landscapes may induce higher exposure to human disturbance and persecution due to limited refuge conditions. This study provides valuable insights on the role of fire in the persistence and habitat selection of a large carnivore, an issue with relevant management implications in fire-prone landscapes, predicted to become a common scenario worldwide.
... Important conservation strategies improving recolonisation (e.g. Grupo de Trabajo del Lobo, 2006;MEDWOLF, 2016) and national and European regulations, some providing compensation programmes for damages by wolves, partly managed to control wolf numbers and their distribution (Eggermann et al., 2011;Fernández-Gil et al., 2016). However, this subspecies is still threatened as rural abandonment increases, and flora and fauna changes affecting wolves' food sources and conflicts with livestock producers and farmers are still occurring. ...
... However, wolves having some contact with human activities feed mainly on livestock, being stocks density (number of animals) the factor that better explain wolf occurrence and persistence. For instance, in Portugal, domestic goat (Capra hircus Linnaeus, 1758) predominates in wolf diet (> 60%), followed by cattle (Bos taurus Linnaeus, 1758) and sheep (Ovis aries Linnaeus, 1758) (Eggermann et al., 2011;Torres et al., 2015). Otherwise, in the Spanish Autonomous Communities of Asturias and Galicia large livestock species, horses (Equus caballus Linnaeus, 1758) and cattle (primarily foals and calves), are the dominant prey, due to important changes in environmental and agricultural policies affecting these regions (Lagos and Bárcena, 2015;Llaneza and López-Bao, 2015). ...
... Livestock' availability near villages attracts wolves to the outskirts resulting in their adaptation to human presence and thus increasing predatory attacks (Eggermann et al., 2011;Llaneza et al., 2012). ...
Article
Ethnopharmacological relevance: Combined approaches to local knowledge and folk plant use improve awareness and promote effective strategies for the conservation of significant biocultural patrimony. Moreover, the information reported might be the basis for further appropriate phytochemical and pharmacological research. Therefore we provide an insight into traditional herbal remedies and practices for healing bite injuries in humans and domestic animals caused by the Iberian wolf. Wolf bites are associated with inflammatory processes and rabies is a potential complication AIMS: This paper describes and summarises the medicinal-veterinary empirical and ritual uses of the Iberian flora for wolf injuries and reviews the ethnopharmacological data of specific plants that are already published. The Iberian wolf is a critically endangered subspecies of the grey wolf. Livestock attacks attributed to wolves are increasingly frequent in the Iberian Peninsula, resulting in serious social problems. Interesting strategies for Iberian wolf conservation might be related to traditional grazing practices that are deeply linked with empirical knowledge and local practices passed on by oral tradition, which are also vulnerable now. Materials and methods: Based on documentary sources from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present, we systematically searched old monographs, regional documents, technical papers, project reports, as well as the international and national databases and the available scientific literature, without restrictions regarding the language of the publications consulted. Results: A total of 39 remedies for healing wolf bite injuries in humans and domestic animals was reported, highlighting the medicinal use of 33 species of vascular plants, mostly wild herbs, belonging to 18 botanical families. The use of wood ashes was also reported. The number of use-reports found represents a very high number considering similar European studies. Leaves were the predominant plant part mentioned. Boiling plant materials in water for topical uses was the most frequent method of preparation found. Some traditional remedies combined two or more plant species in order to potentiate their effects. Moreover, some plant-based traditional practices and rituals to ward off wolves and to prevent wolf attacks were also documented. In these practices eleven other species (belonging to seven more families) were used. Conclusions: Despite the decline of the Iberian wolf over the last few decades, wolves are still in the imaginary of rural communities that perceive this large carnivore as both a diabolic creature and a mythic and benign animal. Wolf-related cultural heritage is of great interest in terms of conservation strategies. This review emphasises the importance of local knowledge and provides useful information about several potential sources of phytochemicals and their claimed therapeutic effects, aiming at contributing to the conservation and appreciation of the Iberian biocultural heritage.
... In Portugal, there have been studies using SDM for at least seven species of mammalian carnivores (wolf , polecat, pine marten, otter, genet, wildcat and Iberian lynx; Álvares and Brito, 2006;Barbosa, 2001;Barbosa et al., 2003;Barbosa et al., 2012;Eggermann et al., 2011;Galantinho and Mira, 2009;Matos and Santos-Reis, 2006;Mestre et al., 2007;Monterroso, 2004;Monterroso et al., 2009;Palma et al., 1999). For the only two species of carnivores in Portugal which have information at a national level from systematic surveys -wolf (Pimenta et al., 2005) and otter (Trindade et al., 1998) -, records both from Portugal and Spain (where a national distribution atlas is available for mammals ;Palomo et al., 2007) were put together in order to do distribution models for the Iberian Peninsula (Barbosa, 2001;Barbosa et al., 2003;Barbosa et al., 2012), with rather successful re- (Álvares and Brito, 2006). ...
... An estimation of the contribution of landscape composition and configuration to spatial variation was done for species richness and abundances of mammalian carnivores (including the fox, badger, otter, genet and Egyptian mongoose) in the coastal plateau of south-western Portugal (Pita et al., 2009). Several topics have been focused on in studies using SDM for carnivores in Portugal, such as questions of scale and its effect on the results of modelling (Barbosa, 2001;Barbosa et al., 2003;Barbosa et al., 2010;Barbosa et al., 2012), responses of carnivores to landscape patterns (Pita et al., 2009), the influence of several types of features (ecological, human-related, etc.) on the occurrence of carnivore species (Álvares and Brito, 2006;Eggermann et al., 2011;Galantinho and Mira, 2009;Monterroso et al., 2009), the prediction of carnivore distribution ranges (Barbosa, 2001;Barbosa et al., 2012;Mestre et al., 2007), and the use of SDM results to improve conservation planning -e.g. habitat management, prey restocking/recovery (Ferreira, 2010;Monterroso et al., 2009;Nunes et al., 2015), among others. ...
... Regarding environmental factors, topography (unevenness, elevation range and altitude), vegetation cover and humidity of the habitat were amongst the variables which most influenced carnivore species distributions (Álvares and Brito, 2006;Barbosa, 2001;Barbosa et al., 2003;Barbosa et al., 2012;Ferreira, 2010;Galantinho and Mira, 2009;Grilo et al., 2002;Mestre et al., 2007;Monterroso et al., 2009;Palma et al., 1999;Pita et al., 2009). Regarding prey-related factors, the availability of prey, namely livestock, European rabbit and other small mammals and invertebrates, has been identified as a major factor related to the occurrence of some Portuguese carnivores (Eggermann et al., 2011;Ferreira, 2010;Galantinho and Mira, 2009;Grilo et al., 2002; 34 | FCUP | Portuguese mammalian carnivores: | bibliometrics, species distribution models and a baseline for a future distribution atlas Monterroso et al., 2009;Palma et al., 1999). Concerning human-related factors, variables related to human activity such as distance to motorways and proportion of game-estate areas (as a proxy for hunting pressure), and related to human density, such as proximity to settlements and road density, have been also found to be strong correlates to carnivore species presence, mainly due to the disturbance that they represent (Barbosa et al., 2003;Barbosa et al., 2012;Galantinho and Mira, 2009;Grilo et al., 2002;Eggermann et al., 2011;Monterroso et al., 2009;Palma et al., 1999). ...
Thesis
Full-text available
Information regarding the status and distribution of species is crucial for an effective management and conservation of biodiversity, from local to global scales. Despite being included in the Mediterranean biodiversity hotspot, Portugal lacks a detailed assessment of the distribution patterns of mammalian carnivores, which are important both ecologically and economically. Moreover, the available information is scattered, often unreliable and biased towards some species or regions. The goals of this study were: i) to compile historical and current distribution data and evaluate the research trends on all species of mammalian carnivores in Portugal; ii) to determine the potential distribution of each species, using species distribution models based on the currently available records, and identify variables associated with their presence; and iii) to produce a detailed account of each carnivore species occurring since historical times in Portugal, as a baseline for a future distribution atlas. On a first approach, a comprehensive review of 755 scientific studies was conducted to analyse several publication metrics (e.g. year of publication, publication type and research topic). 20,189 presence records of all mammalian terrestrial carnivores occurring in Portugal since historical times were also compiled, to evaluate their distribution patterns, including Extent of Occurrence, Area of Occupancy and range trends. Carnivore research in Portugal began in the 18th century, with a boost in the mid-1990s, and has been biased towards regionally threatened species and mainly focused on the topics of General Ecology and Conservation. There are fifteen extant species in Portugal, with nine occurring across the country (>85% of the mainland area) and six showing a relatively limited range (<40%), while an additional species is currently extinct (Ursus arctos). During the last decades, the distribution ranges of seven species seem to have remained stable, two expanded, two contracted, and three showed unclear trends. The historical presence of the Eurasian Lynx (Lynx lynx) in the north of Portugal was hypothesised, based on historical records, and the confirmed presence of a new invasive carnivore in Portugal, the raccoon (Procyon lotor), is documented here for the first time. On a second chapter, the compiled presence data were used to produce predictive ensemble models of the distribution of all extant carnivore species in Portugal (except for the racoon, due to low sample size), and several criteria of variable selection were used to determine which predictor variables were most strongly related to species occurrences. As expected, the best-surveyed carnivore species produced the best performing models. For all species, at least one environmental variable was selected, and for nine species, also human-related variables emerged, mostly showing a negative relationship between species and human presence or activity. For several species known to occur throughout the country, a higher potential for occurrence was found in the north, suggesting better general conditions in this region. Furthermore, a possible connection was found between reduced consensus between model predictions and the latest range limits of expanding species. Finally, all the information collected was gathered and presented in a detailed account for each carnivore species with a summary of the general distributional context, bibliometric analysis, presence records and distribution patterns. The species of some conservation concern, either by being threatened, nationally or internationally or by currently undergoing an expansion process, are the ones for which there was generally more data and a better knowledge. Other common and widespread species with no pressing conservation concerns, along with Data Deficient and Extinct species, had the least available data. Concerning the records compiled, non-genetically validated presence signs constituted the majority of records, and most records were collected inside protected areas, stressing the need for collecting more reliable records (either by validating them genetically or using other methodologies) and for reducing survey bias. This study demonstrates the relevance of non-systematic data to assess the historical and current status of mammalian terrestrial carnivores in Portugal, allowing the identification of knowledge gaps and research priorities. It is the first study on Species Distribution Modelling addressing all carnivore species in Portugal, by using a large number of occurrence data for modelling purposes. Furthermore, it allows a preliminary assessment of the factors associated with each carnivore species, particularly those for which there were no previous studies on ecological modelling. The results of this work will serve as a baseline to produce a future Atlas of Portuguese Carnivores. This information will contribute to updating assessments of species presence and distribution at the level of Iberian Peninsula, Europe and the Mediterranean biodiversity hotspot, with important conservation and management implications.
... Predicted refuges (light blue) and ecological traps (light red) non-overlapping current sporadic occurrences are also shown. especially the abundance of wild and/or domestic prey (Basille et al. 2009, Eggermann et al. 2011. Unfortunately, no data on prey abundance are available at the scale of continental Europe. ...
... Th e same holds true for the relationship between reindeer Rangifer tarandus and forest cover ( r ϭ 0.66, Lundqvist et al. 2007). On the other hand, domestic ungulates are related to grasslands where they spend the grazing season (Eggermann et al. 2011). Consequently, in our study, prey abundance is potentially represented by the environmental variables forest and grassland cover. ...
... Th e permanent occurrences of the three large carnivores were signifi cantly and positively related to altitude, grassland cover, forest cover, habitat diversity and distance from human settlements, while they were negatively related to the presence of human settlements. Th ese results are in agreement with fi ndings from other studies (Kobler and Adamic 2000, Norris et al. 2002, Grobe et al. 2003, Jerina et al. 2003, Posillico et al. 2004, J ę drzejewski et al. 2005, Bunnefeld et al. 2006, Holmes and Laundre 2006, Munro et al. 2006, Niedzia ł kowska et al. 2006, Zimmermann and Breitenmoser 2007, Basille et al. 2008, Podg ó rski et al. 2008, Cromsigt et al. 2009, Elfstr ö m and Swenson, 2009, Krofel et al. 2010, Eggermann et al. 2011, G ü thlin et al. 2011, Meriggi et al. 2011, Belotti et al. 2012, Llaneza et al. 2012, Martin et al. 2012, Milanesi et al. 2012, Abbas et al. 2013, Ahmadi et al. 2013, Bassi et al. 2015, Maiorano et al. 2015. In summary, we found, as expected, that the availability of natural or semi-natural habitats and avoidance of humans are fundamental factors related to the permanent distribution of brown bear, Eurasian lynx and grey wolf. ...
Article
Europe is currently being re-colonized by large carnivore species such as brown bear (Ursus arctos), Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) and grey wolf (Canis lupus). Approximately one-third of Europe currently hosts at least one of these large carnivore species: they show permanent occurrence in some regions and sporadic occurrence without reproduction in others. We investigated potential future range expansions of these three large carnivores using three different analyses. First, we compared niche overlap between the historical, current permanent and current sporadic occurrences using n-dimensional hypervolumes. Second, we identified the environmental variables that best explain differences between current sporadic and permanent occurrences through multi-model inference. Third, we projected permanent occurrences into the future across a range of land-use change scenarios. We also determined future refuges (i.e. sub-optimal habitat in the environmental model, good habitat in the human disturbance model) and ecological traps (i.e. good habitat in the environmental model, sub-optimal habitat in the human disturbance model). In the three large carnivores species, ecological niche overlap was higher between historical and current permanent occurrences than between historical and current sporadic occurrences, and we also found low ecological niche overlap between current permanent and sporadic occurrences. Between 20 and 24% (corresponding to 86,800 to 173,200 km2) of the current sporadic occurrences could result in permanent settlement of large carnivores in the year 2040, while 17-24% (corresponding to 122,200 to 104,100 km2) and 2.7-4.6% (corresponding to 11,800 to 28,400 km2) of the current sporadic occurrences are likely to become refuges and ecological traps, respectively. Factors affecting range expansion are human activities, which were negatively related to permanent occurrences of all three species. In light of our results, human-dominated European landscapes provide ample space for the future recolonization of large carnivores.
... In Portugal, there are about 1200 turbines in the wolf distribution area . The increase of wind farms in Portugal constitutes an issue for wolf conservation (Eggermann et al. 2011), since the species distribution area is located in mountain ridges, that simultaneously has great wind power potential (see more in Chap. 5). ...
... However, recent studies in Europe highlighted the adaptive capabilities of wolves, with the species found to be present in areas with average road densities as high as 1.2 km/km 2 (Theuerkauf et al. 2003;Jedrzejewski et al. 2005;Llaneza et al. 2012), reaching even 1.9 km/km 2 in some areas of the Iberian Peninsula (Dennehy et al. 2013). Wolf responses to road accessibilities are also dependent on several cumulative factors, such as habitat quality, human density and prey availability (Eggermann et al. 2011;Llaneza et al. 2012). Furthermore, the expansion of new traffic accessibilities can cause an increase in human-related mortality on wolves (Zimmermann et al. 2014), presenting a significant negative impact particularly during sensitive periods such as the breeding season. ...
... Although wolves are often considered a symbol of wilderness and remote places (Mech and Boitani 2003), in the Iberian Peninsula and particularly in Portugal, this carnivore has been living in a very humanised landscape for several centuries, and has adapted to human presence, activities and persecution (Álvares et al. 2011;Eggermann et al. 2011, Llaneza et al. 2012. Wolves can live wherever they have enough food and are not killed by humans (Mech and Boitani 2003), and in Portugal those conditions mostly occur in the mountainous areas of the North and Centre (between 800 m and 1500 m above sea level), which became their stronghold due to lower human density, difficult accessibility and higher prey availability (Grilo et al. 2002;Eggermann et al. 2011). ...
Book
This book presents a review of the state-of-the-art knowledge on the interactions between biodiversity and wind energy development, focused on the Portuguese reality. The volume addresses the particularities of the impact assessment procedures in Portugal, contrasting it with the international practices and presenting its main findings by covering the following broader themes: i) evaluation of spatial and temporal dynamics of wildlife affected by wind farms, including birds, bats and terrestrial mammals (in particularly Portuguese wolf population); ii) the methodologies used to assess impacts caused by this type of developments in biodiversity; iii) the best practice methodologies to implement an adaptive management approach to reconcile biodiversity and wind farms. The knowledge presented in this book was gathered through the research and development activities developed by Bioinsight company (former Bio3 company) during the last 13 years and partially funded by a R&D project designated as “Integrated solutions for biodiversity management at wind farms: reduce and compensate bird and bat mortality” (acronym: Wind & Biodiversity), co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER), under the Regional Operational Programme of Centre (Mais Centro). This volume fills a void in the literature as a book giving insights on the best practices to install and manage a wind farm from a biodiversity management point of view, while establishing a commitment between economic sustainability and biodiversity conservation.
... These conflicts could be intensified after the adoption of relaxed husbandry practices that have abandoned protection against predators that were eradicated, thus facilitating conflict when these predators return (Gazzola et al. 2008, Chapron et al. 2014, Torres et al. 2015. Under these conditions, it is crucial to assess objectively how the wolf's return can fit into the efforts to improve the coexistence of large carnivores and agriculture (LIFE COEX 2005-2011Boitani & Linnell 2015). ...
... We collected anthropogenic and ecological variables previously related to WALs (Meriggi & Lovari 1996, Treves et al. 2004, Gazzola et al. 2008, Eggermann et al. 2011 and data on the level of either ancient or restored wilderness (i.e., rewilding). Anthropogenic variables included human density, livestock density (cattle, sheep and goats separately) and the percentage of urban and crop land cover. ...
... The land-cover variables of importance for the wolf ecology and WALs included urban areas, agricultural land (crops), grasslands, scrub transitions, scrubs, forests, open areas and water (Meriggi & Lovari 1996, Eggermann et al. 2011. We extracted these variables from CORINE 2006 in ArcGIS 10.1 software (Esri, Redlands, CA, USA) to quantify the percentage of each land-cover category per municipality. ...
Article
Full-text available
The human abandonment of rural areas facilitates rewilding, which is also supported by European projects and initiatives. Rewilding often implies the return of iconic predators such as the wolf (Canis lupus), leading to human–wildlife conflicts. To reverse human depopulation, initiatives such as the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) subsidize extensive grazing of areas unsuitable for intensive agriculture. Therefore, rewilding and reversing depopulation initiatives seem to be mutually incompatible, and further insight into controversial aspects of the return of apex predators is needed when considering the reform of the CAP for post-2020. To develop understanding of these different objectives in the context of large carnivore recolonizations, we analysed wolf attacks on livestock in central Spain, where livestock is managed differently between the plateau and the mountains. As with other European regions, this area is undergoing rural abandonment and is subsidized by the CAP. Free-roaming cattle at higher elevations were subject to increased attacks irrespective of the abundance of wild prey. Efforts to subsidize human repopulation of areas experiencing recolonization by large carnivores require consideration of a model of cohabitation with these predators assisted by mitigation and compensation measures. Rewilding could bring alternative sustainable income based on the values brought by the presence of large carnivores and associated ecosystem services.
... Based on wolf-habitat relationships (Massolo and Meriggi 1998;Carroll et al. 2003;Jedrzejewski et al. 2005;Hebblewhite and Merrill 2008;Laporte et al. 2010;Eggermann et al. 2011;Ahmadi et al. 2013;Falcucci et al. 2013), we selected a set of 16 predictor variables for which geographic information system (GIS) data were available for the entire study area, including ecological, topographic and anthropogenic features (Table 1). Habitat diversity (Shannon Diversity Index) and land cover types were obtained from the Coordination of Information on the Environment (CORINE Land Cover 2006, IV Level; http://www.sinanet.isprambiente. ...
... Our results are consistent with other published studies (Massolo and Meriggi 1998;Jedrzejewski et al. 2005;Eggermann et al. 2011;Ahmadi et al. 2013). Although the wolf presence could be largely driven by prey distribution, which we could not directly test, the main habitat factors related to the wolf presence in the study area are represented by geo-morphological conditions (altitude, slope, and roughness), natural habitats (meadows, woods, and forests), and human disturbance (human density and human settlements). ...
... However, in our study area, and throughout Italy, wolves mostly occupy intermediate elevations (Falcucci et al. 2013). The potential wolf distribution was more correlated to higher altitudes during the GP, possibly due to a higher abundance of domestic and wild prey and to the avoidance of intensive human activities in the valleys (Eggermann et al. 2011). Conversely, lower-altitude areas were significantly more correlated to the wolf presence during the NGP, possibly as a response to adverse climate conditions and to the distribution of food resources, such as wild ungulates (Massolo and Meriggi 1998;Glenz et al. 2001), at lower altitudes during the coldest season. ...
Article
Full-text available
Non-invasive genetic sampling has been used to reconstruct spatial patterns of carnivore distributions, identify regions where conflicts with human activities could threaten the survival of a species, and assess the effectiveness of conservation strategies. In this study, we used detailed information on wolf (Canis lupus) and livestock distributions to infer depredation risks in a wide area of the Italian Apennines. We carried out a General Niche Environment System Factor Analysis (GNESFA) to define the potential distribution of wolves genotyped from 8565 samples collected during 12 years of non-invasive genetic monitoring in 3622 locations. Habitat suitability models indicated that the proportion of meadows, altitude, slope, roughness, and distance from human settlements were the main factors positively related to the potential wolf distribution, in contrast with the extension of cultivated fields and human settlements. Results of GNESFA were used to infer the local depredation risk, which was high in 46.9 % of the pastures, and to rank the areas where prevention tools should be used with priority. In this way, the use of often-limited financial resources for prevention could be promoted in pastures with the highest depredation risk and conflicts between husbandry and wolf presence might be mitigated.
... Based on wolf-habitat relationships (Massolo and Meriggi 1998;Carroll et al. 2003;Jedrzejewski et al. 2005;Hebblewhite and Merrill 2008;Laporte et al. 2010;Eggermann et al. 2011;Ahmadi et al. 2013;Falcucci et al. 2013), we selected a set of 16 predictor variables for which geographic information system (GIS) data were available for the entire study area, including ecological, topographic and anthropogenic features (Table 1). Habitat diversity (Shannon Diversity Index) and land cover types were obtained from the Coordination of Information on the Environment (CORINE Land Cover 2006, IV Level; http://www.sinanet.isprambiente. ...
... Our results are consistent with other published studies (Massolo and Meriggi 1998;Jedrzejewski et al. 2005;Eggermann et al. 2011;Ahmadi et al. 2013). Although the wolf presence could be largely driven by prey distribution, which we could not directly test, the main habitat factors related to the wolf presence in the study area are represented by geo-morphological conditions (altitude, slope, and roughness), natural habitats (meadows, woods, and forests), and human disturbance (human density and human settlements). ...
... However, in our study area, and throughout Italy, wolves mostly occupy intermediate elevations (Falcucci et al. 2013). The potential wolf distribution was more correlated to higher altitudes during the GP, possibly due to a higher abundance of domestic and wild prey and to the avoidance of intensive human activities in the valleys (Eggermann et al. 2011). Conversely, lower-altitude areas were significantly more correlated to the wolf presence during the NGP, possibly as a response to adverse climate conditions and to the distribution of food resources, such as wild ungulates (Massolo and Meriggi 1998;Glenz et al. 2001), at lower altitudes during the coldest season. ...
Article
Habitat suitability models (HSMs) are used to describe and predict species distributions based on multiple ecological variablesand species occurrence data. HSMs may also provide a probabilistic identification of least-cost path (LCP) distances in landscapegenetics. However, while several studies used HSMs for these purposes, the performance of different HSMs in landscape geneticanalysis and, therefore, the consequences of model choice have not been carefully explored. In this study, we used a largedataset of wolf genotypes (Canis lupus; n = 923) that were non-invasively sampled in the central and northern Italian Apenninesand western Alps, aiming (i) to estimate LCP distances derived from ten different HSMs and (ii) to quantify the correlationbetween inter-individual genetic and LCP distances using three statistical procedures: partial Mantel tests, multiple regressionon distance matrices (MRDM) and linear mixed effect models. All LCP distances based on HSMs explained genetic distancesbetter than Euclidean distances, irrespective of the applied landscape genetic statistical test. However, LCP distances derivedby different HSMs were significantly different (paired t-test, P ≤ 0.0001), especially between “flexible discriminant analysis”(FDA) and “boosted regression trees” (BRT) models. LCP distances derived from “factorial decomposition of Mahalanobisdistances” (MADIFA) in MRDM showed the highest regression coefficient (β) with genetic distances, indicating a strongcorrelation between LCPs and genetic distances. Results from our case study suggest that different HSMs should be comparedand model-choice procedures applied to identify the best fitting HSM in landscape genetic analysis.
... At the scale of individual habitat use (third-order selection), wolves move avoiding roads and areas heavily used by humans, selecting areas with high forest cover and with abundant prey (Thiel, 1985;Massolo & Meriggi, 1998;Glenz et al., 2001;Houle et al., 2010;Llaneza, L opez-Bao & Sazatornil, 2012;Zimmermann et al., 2014). Wolves can also coexist with humans in areas with low vegetation cover, if the landscape is not too fragmented by settlements and roads (Eggermann et al., 2011). Finally, breeding locations, that is dens and rendezvous sites (the sites used for raising pups, third-order selection) are commonly located far from human settlements and roads, on steep slopes and/or in densely forested areas (Capitani et al., 2006;Ausband et al., 2010;Houle et al., 2010;Bassi et al., 2015;Sazatornil et al., 2016). ...
... This scale represents the space use of individuals and therefore its resolution is below the home range of the species (200 km 2 in southern Europe, Boitani, 1983;Vil a, Urios & Castroviejo, 1990). Data include a compilation of wolves' individual locations from independent studies in Portugal, including radio-tracking locations, direct observations, dead animals (except road kills), scats confirmed by genetic analyses and camera-trapping records ( Alvares, 2011;Nakamura et al., 2013;Eggermann et al., 2011;Roque et al., 2013Roque et al., and unpublished data from 2002Roque et al., to 2012. The original coordinates were converted to 2 9 2 km cells with presence when there was at least one observation, thus reducing the potential for spatial biases (Rondinini et al., 2006;Beck et al., 2014;Kittle et al., 2018). ...
Article
Despite severe population declines and an overall range contraction, some populations of large carnivores have managed to survive in human‐modified landscapes. From a conservation perspective, it is important to identify the factors allowing for this coexistence, including the relevant habitat characteristics associated with the presence of large carnivores. We evaluated the role of several environmental factors describing habitat quality for wolves Canis lupus in the humanised Iberian Peninsula, which currently holds an important wolf population at European level. We used maximum entropy and generalized linear model approaches in a nested‐scale design to identify the environmental factors that are related to wolf presence at three spatial scales and resolutions: (1) distribution range: wolf presence on a 10 × 10 km grid resolution, (2) wolf habitat use: wolf occurrence on a 2 × 2 km grid and (3) dens/rendezvous sites: breeding locations on a 1 × 1 km grid. Refuge availability, as defined by topography, seemed to be the key factor determining wolf presence at the multiple scales analysed. As a result, wolf populations may coexist with humans in modified landscapes when the topography is complex. We found that a significant amount of favourable habitat is not currently occupied, suggesting that the availability of suitable habitat is not the limiting factor for wolves in the Iberian Peninsula. Habitat suitability outside the current range indicates that other factors, such as direct persecution and other sources of anthropogenic mortality, may be hampering its expansion. We suggest that priorities for conservation should follow two general lines: (1) protect good quality habitat within the current range; and (2) allow dispersal to unoccupied areas of good quality habitat by reducing human‐induced mortality rates. Finally, we still need to improve our understanding of how wolves coexist with humans in modified landscapes at fine spatiotemporal scales, including its relationship with infrastructures, land uses and direct human presence. Wolf populations may coexist with humans in modified landscapes when the topography is complex. A significant amount of favourable habitat is not currently occupied. Habitat suitability outside the current range indicates that other factors, such as direct persecution and other sources of anthropogenic mortality, may be hampering its expansion. Photo Credit : Joaquim Pedro Ferreira
... As an apex predator, this species can contribute to restore local biodiversity and trophic interactions, which ultimately leads to ecosystem recovery [1], [2]. In Europe, wolf original range was drastically reduced in the end of the 19 th century, mainly due to human persecution, habitat degradation and prey decline [3], being eradicated from most central and northern countries [4], [5], [6]. The rooted conflict between this predator and humans is mostly due to livestock predation [7]. ...
... This is mostly aggravated in areas where wild prey diversity and density is low a1111111111 a1111111111 a1111111111 a1111111111 a1111111111 [6]. However, in the last decades, due to legal protection policies [4], natural recolonization [8] and wild ungulate increase [9], [10], wolf populations have recovered and are now expanding their ranges across some countries in Europe [1], [4], [5], [11]. ...
Article
Full-text available
The Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus) is a top predator that inhabits the Iberian Peninsula. In Portugal, its numbers and distribution declined throughout the 20th century, due to human persecution, habitat degradation and prey decline, which have led to higher predation rates of livestock in the remaining packs. In Montesinho Natural Park (northeast Portugal), wild ungulate populations have been increasing in the last years, which may have led wolf to predate upon them. In order to assess Iberian wolf diet in this area, 85 wolf scats were collected from transects distributed throughout the study area in two periods between November 2017 and August 2019. Scat analysis indicated a high predation on wild ungulates, where the frequency of occurrence showed that roe deer was the most consumed prey (44%), followed by red deer (26%) and wild boar (24%). Domestic/wild cat (6%), domestic goat and stone marten (5%) were consumed in lower quantities. It was found a higher selection towards roe deer (D = 0.71) and this was the only prey item which was significantly dependent of the season of the year (χ² = 16.95, df = 3, p < 0.001). This is the first study in Portugal where was recorded that wolves feed mainly on wild ungulates. We conclude that lower livestock predation may be correlated with higher wild ungulates densities in our study area, as well as suitable husbandry practices, leading to a shift on Iberian wolf diet from mainly livestock on previous studies to wild ungulates.
... Based on the existing knowledge regarding the environmental characteristics typically selected by wolves in permanently occupied areas, we expected residents to strongly select areas with a high density of prey and a low human disturbance (Massolo & Meriggi 1998;Jędrzejewski et al. 2004;Eggermann et al. 2011;Imbert et al. 2016;Meriggi et al. 2020). Conversely, we expected a very weak selection, or even no evidence of selection, carried out by dispersers ...
... The high differences in R 2 and AUC between the model performed on the detection points falling inside and that on detection points falling outside the core area suggest that the former set of points most likely belong to resident individuals, which typically show a strong habitat selection, while the latter could belong to usually less selective dispersers (Zeller et al. 2012;Mateo-Sánchez et al. 2015;Abrahms et al. 2017;Scharf et al. 2018;Rio-Maior et al. 2019). Several studies pointed out that the distribution of wolves is generally affected by the abundance of prey and by the risk associated with the presence of humans (Massolo & Meriggi 1998;Jędrzejewski et al. 2004;Eggermann et al. 2011;Imbert et al. 2016;Meriggi et al. 2020) and the results we obtained for the data collected inside the core area basically followed these preferences. The local abundance of roe deer was by far the most important factor in determining the probability of wolf occurrence in our study area. ...
Article
Resource selection analyses based on detection data are widely used to parametrize resistance surfaces used to identify ecological corridors. To successfully parametrize resistance, it is crucial to decouple resident and disperser behaviours yet to date connectivity studies using detection data have not addressed this issue. Here, we decoupled data of resident and dispersing wolves by analysing detection data collected within a natural corridor crossing a human dominated plain in Italy. To decouple residents and dispersers, we ran a Kernel Density analysis to investigate whether clusters of wolf detection points characterized by sharply higher points’ density exist and checked whether the areas outlined by these clusters (core areas) hold specific characteristics. Habitat selection analysis was then performed to compare the intensity of habitat selection carried out by putative residents and dispersers. We identified a high-density cluster of 30 detection points outlining a small core area stably located in the central part of the park. The dramatic differences of the R² and the AUC of the habitat selection models performed inside (R² = 0.506; AUC = 0.952) and outside (R² = 0.037; AUC = 0.643) the core area corroborated the hypothesis that the core area effectively encloses detection points belonging to residents. Our results show that through simple space use analyses it is possible to roughly discriminate between detection points belonging to resident-behaving and disperser-behaving individuals and that habitat selection models separately performed on these data have extremely different results with strong possible effects on resistance surfaces parametrized from these models.
... In Spain, depending on each autonomous region, wolves are managed from hunting or administrative culling to full protection, while in Portugal are fully protected by law since 1988 and listed as "Endangered" in the Portuguese Red Data Book (Cabral et al., 2005). Studies based on Iberian wolf population monitoring, both at national and regional scales, have been restricted to a few years long and resort mostly to sign, visual and acoustic detection of wolves (Blanco et al., 1992;Blanco and Cortés, 2007;Eggermann et al., 2011;Llaneza et al., 2005;Pimenta et al., 2005). The lack of studies addressing wolf population dynamics is particularly critical as the Iberian wolf persists in highly heterogeneous and human-modified landscapes, showing a high trophic dependency on domestic animals and facing threats such as human persecution, habitat disturbance, and scarcity of natural prey (Blanco et al., 1992;Eggermann et al., 2011;Hindrikson et al., 2017;Pimenta et al., 2018;Rio-Maior et al., 2019). ...
... Studies based on Iberian wolf population monitoring, both at national and regional scales, have been restricted to a few years long and resort mostly to sign, visual and acoustic detection of wolves (Blanco et al., 1992;Blanco and Cortés, 2007;Eggermann et al., 2011;Llaneza et al., 2005;Pimenta et al., 2005). The lack of studies addressing wolf population dynamics is particularly critical as the Iberian wolf persists in highly heterogeneous and human-modified landscapes, showing a high trophic dependency on domestic animals and facing threats such as human persecution, habitat disturbance, and scarcity of natural prey (Blanco et al., 1992;Eggermann et al., 2011;Hindrikson et al., 2017;Pimenta et al., 2018;Rio-Maior et al., 2019). These evidences highlight the need for science-based information regarding Iberian wolf population dynamics based on long-term monitoring, which can then support adequate management and conservation actions. ...
Article
Long-term monitoring studies assessing wolf population dynamics are scarce, particularly in human-dominated landscapes of southern Europe. In this work, we estimate wolf demographic parameters in northwest Portugal based on a multi-methodological approach over 20 years split into two periods (period A: 1996–2005; period B: 2007–2016). Period B takes advantage of methodological upgrades in wolf surveys, as GPS telemetry and the use of genetic noninvasive samples, to report dispersal events and identify core and sink packs. The average annual population size was 27.0 ± 2.1 (SE; range 13–43) individuals, with 2 to 6 annual packs and an average density of 1.7 ± 0.1 wolves/100km². The population showed a growth rate of 4.2 ± 7.6%, with a decreasing trend (period A, −8 ± 9%) followed by a recovery (period B, 16 ± 11%), mainly due to local extinction and reestablishment of sink packs. The average pack size was 6.2 ± 0.3 individuals, with a maximum of 16 individuals, the highest reported value for Iberian wolves. During period B, the percentage of dispersers detected in this population was 11% and the average dispersal distance was 24.8 ± 1.2 km. Core packs showed higher group persistence, breeding success, and average pack sizes compared with sink packs. Results suggest a source-sink dynamics in this population, with few core packs promoting the maintenance and recovery of sink packs through a stepping-stone process. Our findings provide a comprehensive overview of wolf population dynamics in human-dominated landscapes and reinforce that wolf management and conservation planning should take into consideration population trends based on long-term studies, and spatial dynamics of demographic traits across packs.
... Different published information [4,9,[50][51][52][53][54][55][56][57][58] was considered to establish the ecological criteria and to create the wolf habitat suitability map. These studies consider some variables as key factors of wolf presence, such as roads, human settlements, altitude, protected areas, and type of habitats. ...
... The probability of wolf presence in humanized landscapes increases as the density of roads per square kilometer decreases and the distance from the main road network increases. This has been evidenced in the Iberian Peninsula [53,57,58], as well as in some places in Europe [61,68,69] and in the United States [50]. In fact, more than 50% of wolf casualties result from impact on roads [51,54]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Over the last few decades, much of the mountain area in European countries has turned into potential habitat for species of medium-and large-sized mammals. Some of the occurrences that explain this trend are biodiversity protection, the creation of natural protected areas, and the abandonment of traditional agricultural activities. In recent years, wolves have once again been seen in forests in the eastern sector of the Pyrenees and the Pre-Pyrenees. The success or failure of their permanent settlement will depend on several factors, including conservation measures for the species, habitat availability, and the state of landscape connectivity. The aim of this study is to analyze the state of landscape connectivity for fragments of potential wolf habitat in Catalonia, Andorra, and on the French side of the Eastern Pyrenees. The results show that a third of the area studied constitutes potential wolf habitat and almost 90% of these spaces are of sufficient size to host stable packs. The set of potential wolf habitat fragments was also assessed using the probability of connectivity index (dPC), which analyses landscape connectivity based on graph structures. According to the graph theory, the results confirm that all the nodes or habitat fragments are directly or indirectly interconnected, thus forming a single component. Given the large availability of suitable habitat and the current state of landscape connectivity for the species, the dispersal of the wolf would be favorable if stable packs are formed. A new established population in the Pyrenees could lead to more genetic exchange between the Iberian wolf population and the rest of Europe's wolf populations.
... Coyote abundances were positively associated with pastures and fallow fields, yet, in spite of prominence of agricultural plants in coyote diets within our system ( Cherry et al. 2016), we found no relationship between coyote abundance and row crop agriculture. Prey abundance is an important driver of carnivore abundance ( Mech 1995) and livestock densities have been linked to increased abundance of wolves ( Eggermann et al. 2011). In our system livestock densities are likely to be correlated with percentage Pasture; however, coyotes rarely consume livestock in this system ( Cherry et al. 2016). ...
Article
Full-text available
Context. Throughout the world, declines in large mammalian carnivores have led to the release of smaller mesomammalian predators. Coyotes (Canis latrans) have increased in abundance, distribution and ecological influence following the extirpation of apex predators in North America. Coyotes have had substantial influence on many ecosystems in recently colonised portions of their range, but those influences can vary across land cover types. Thus, understanding the relationship between coyote abundance and land cover may enhance our ability to predict spatial variation in the ecological effects of coyotes. Aims. Our objective was to examine the influence of landscape attributes on eastern coyote abundance to ultimately facilitate predictions of spatial variation in the effects of coyotes on prey populations, ecological communities and human interests. Methods. We collected count data from repeated visits to 24 sites by eliciting howl responses from coyotes. We fit abundance models to howl-response data to examine the effects of landscape composition and configuration on coyote abundance in a mixed forest/agricultural ecosystem in south-western Georgia, USA. Key results. Our investigation revealed that coyote abundance was positively associated with grasslands that were predominantly used for livestock production, and negatively associated with patch diversity. Conclusions. Our results supported the prediction that coyotes would be positively associated with open habitats and that they are well adapted for areas structurally similar to the plains of central North America, where the species originated. In addition, these results suggest that aspects of fragmentation, such as patch diversity, can negatively affect coyote abundance. Our results highlight the importance of patch type and landscape juxtaposition on the abundance of coyotes in complex heterogeneous landscapes. Implications. Our results further our understanding of the spatial variation in coyote abundances across a recently colonised portion of the species range. Combining howl-response surveys with abundance modelling is a promising approach for studying the associations between population dynamics of vocal canids and landscape structure over large spatial scales.
... We focused on 2 severely injured wolves that were rehabilitated and released in northwest Portugal (Iberian Peninsula) in 2012. This region is similar to others elsewhere in Europe where the wolf is classified as endangered and protected by law (Salvatori and Linnell 2005), persisting in highly humanized landscapes where there is often considerable wolf mortality in response to livestock depredation (Santos et al. 2007, Eggermann et al. 2010, Alvares 2011, Chapron et al. 2014. In this context, our releases were intended to reinforce the local wolf population, adding 2 individuals that might later become breeders or helpers in resident packs. ...
Article
Full-text available
Injured free-ranging wolves (Canis lupus) are often rehabilitated and released into the wild, but there is limited data on their post-release survival and behavior.We used global positioning system telemetry to document movements and spatial overlap with resident packs of 2 wolves in northern Portugal that were released following rehabilitation from severe traumatic injuries and were kept in captivity for 10–12 weeks in 2012. A yearling female, with a complex fracture on the thoracic limb, traveled 2,709 km over about 643 km2, during the 12 months post-release before being illegally shot. During the first 8 months, it was located frequently around 3 different pack territories, but afterwards its movements were restricted to a single pack territory. We tracked a yearling male with an amputated hind limb for 5 months and it traveled 922 km over about 574 km2 before dying in a road casualty. It visited 4 different pack territories in succession but also spent time outside known territory boundaries. Our findings suggest that rehabilitated wolves can recover their locomotor activity and survive in the wild for several months, even after suffering severe injuries and spending 3 months in captivity.
... Wolves in the Iberian Peninsula (Canis lupus signatus) occur in a heterogeneous and anthropogenically modified landscape, coping with intense human-related factors of disturbance, such as settlements, infrastructures, or domestic dogs, but also profiting from food sources such as livestock (Eggermann, da Costa, Guerra, Kirchner, & Petrucci-Fonseca, 2011;Llaneza, López-Bao, & Sazatornil, 2012). In Portugal, wolf populations suffered a drastic decline in range and numbers during the 20th century, with the most critical situation being observed in the region located south of the Douro river. ...
Article
Full-text available
Animal host–microbe interactions are a relevant concern for wildlife conservation, particularly regarding generalist pathogens, where domestic host species can play a role in the transmission of infectious agents, such as viruses, to wild animals. Knowledge on viral circulation in wild host species is still scarce and can be improved by the recent advent of modern molecular approaches. We aimed to characterize the fecal virome and identify viruses of potential conservation relevance of diarrheic free-ranging wolves and sympatric domestic dogs from Central Portugal, where a small and threatened wolf population persists in a highly anthropogenically modified landscape. Using viral metagenomics, we screened diarrheic stools collected from wolves (n = 8), feral dogs (n = 4), and pet dogs (n = 6), all collected within wolf range. We detected novel highly divergent viruses as well as known viral pathogens with established effects on population dynamics, including canine distemper virus, a novel bocavirus, and canine minute virus. Furthermore, we performed a 4-year survey for the six wolf packs comprising this endangered wolf population, screening 93 fecal samples from 36 genetically identified wolves for canine distemper virus and the novel bocavirus, previously identified using our metagenomics approach. Our novel approach using metagenomics for viral screening in noninvasive samples of wolves and dogs has profound implications on the knowledge of both virology and wildlife diseases, establishing a complementary tool to traditional screening methods for the conservation of threatened species.
... To wrongly claim the presence of pups when there are in fact none (false positives) is possibly the most undesirable mistake, although it can be minimized by applying predictive models (2.6-3.9% using predictive AED models). Simulated howling is one of the most commonly used methods to monitor wolf populations [6,20,21,29,50,51]. In Europe, for instance, this method is systematically used in Finland, Estonia, Romania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, Slovenia, Italy, France, Portugal and Spain [52]. ...
Article
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Management decision-making processes require reliable tools providing information on the distribution, abundance, and trend of populations. Wolves vocalize in response to human imitations of howls. Traditionally, this phenomenon has been the basis of a widespread monitoring tool to assess the reproductive status in a wolf pack, as well as to estimate the minimum number of individuals in the pack: the elicited vocalization technique. However, despite its broad use, only a few attempts to quantify its accuracy have been made so far. Here, we carried out a test to evaluate the accuracy of estimates obtained from the elicited-vocalization technique. We administered "chorus tests" to 205 human subjects, 182 rangers —with different level of experience with wolves— and 23 subjects with no previous experience with the species. We found that the estimates of the number of wolves participating in a chorus were not accurate, regardless of the experience of the listener (the correct number of wolves was only determined in 32% of tests). Listeners, however, identified pups vocalizing 98% of the times when there were pups in the chorus. They also reported the presence of pups when they were not present with a high frequency (71%). Estimating the number of individuals by the unaided human ear is flawed because of the bias inherent in the elicited-vocalization technique. Howling surveys have a low degree of selectivity to confirm the presence of pups. Thus, we make recommendations to improve the elicited-vocalization technique as a tool to monitor the presence of pups.
... Among these factors, diseases may also play an important role on the dynamics of wolves (this study; Mech and Goyal 1993;Peterson et al. 1998;Mörner et al. 2005;Di Sabatino et al. 2014). In the case of Iberian wolves, it has been confirmed the presence of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria (Gonçalves et al. 2012), demonstrating indirect evidence of the marked anthropization in environments where Iberian wolves thrive (Eggermann et al. 2011;Blanco and Cortés 2007;Llaneza et al. 2012). Iberian wolves have been identified as being exposed to canine viruses (Sobrino et al. 2008, Santos et al. 2009, Müller et al. 2011), but to date no attempt has been made to describe factors affecting patterns of exposure to these agents in wolves from Iberia or other parts of Europe. ...
Article
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Wildlife inhabiting human-dominated landscapes is at risk of pathogen spill-over from domestic species. With the aim of gaining knowledge in the dynamics of viral infections in Iberian wolves (Canis lupus) living in anthropized landscapes of northern Spain, we analysed between 2010 and 2013 samples of 54 wolves by serology and PCR for exposure to four pathogenic canine viruses: Canine Distemper Virus (CDV), Canine Parvovirus-2 (CPV), Canine Adenovirus 1 and 2 (CAV-1 and CAV-2), and Canine Herpesvirus (CPH). Overall, 76% of the studied wolves presented evidence of exposure to CPV (96% by HI, 66% by PCR), and 75% to CAV (75% by SN, 76% by PCR, of which 70% CAV-1, 6% CAV-2). This represents the first detection of CAV-2 infection in a wild carnivore. CPV/CAV-1 co-infection occurred in 51% of the wolves. The probability of wolf exposure to CPV was positively and significantly correlated with farm density in a buffer zone around the place where the wolf was found, indicating that rural dogs might be the origin of CPV infecting wolves. CPV and CAV-1 appear to be enzootic in the Iberian wolf population, which is supported by the absence of seasonal and inter-annual variations in the proportion of positive samples detected. However, while CPV may depend on periodical introductions by dogs, CAV-1 may be maintained within the wolf population. All wolves were negative for exposure to CDV (by SN and PCR) and CHV (by PCR). The absence of acquired immunity against CDV in this population may predispose it to an elevated rate of mortality in the event of a distemper spill-over via dogs.
... The distribution of wolves is usually determined by the abundance of its preys, environmental characteristics, and the risk associated with the presence of humans (Eggermann et al., 2011;Jędrzejewski et al., 2004;Massolo and Meriggi, 1998). This last point is the key problem of wolf conservation because wolves can have a dramatic impact on livestock breeding, affecting human attitudes that can lead to illegal killing, increasing the risk of extinction (Behdarvand et al., 2014;Kovařík et al., 2014). ...
... Most of the NW Iberian wolf population occurs in human-dominated landscapes (e.g. Blanco & Cortés 2007;Eggermann et al. 2011;Llaneza et al. 2012). Wolf monitoring in the Iberian Peninsula is based on the same sampling procedures, mainly sign surveys -to detect wolf presence -and howling sessions -to confirm wolf reproduction - ) and is carried out during the breeding period (very few areas with long periods of snow cover during winter). ...
Article
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In many cases, the first step in large carnivore management is to obtain objective, reliable and cost-effective population parameters estimates that are reproducible over time. However, monitoring predators over large regional scales is a difficult task with high uncertainty. Moreover, in wildlife monitoring, combining multiple survey methods to generate information about different population states is particularly challenging. We present a practical multi-method and multi-state modelling approach based on Bayesian hierarchical site occupancy models to monitor large predators at the regional scale. We used as model species wolves (Canis lupus) and generated reliable estimates of the number of sites with wolf reproduction. We show the performance of this proposed approach using two wolf datasets from Spain (Western Galicia in 2013 and Asturias in 2004). Using howling surveys, the naïve estimation of the number of sites with reproduction was 9 and 25 sites in Western Galicia and Asturias, respectively. However, by applying our proposed approach we estimated 33.4±9.6 and 34.4±3.9 sites with wolf reproduction, respectively. The rate of occupied sites (±SD) with wolf reproduction was 0.67±0.19 and 0.76±0.11, respectively. This approach can be used to design more cost-effective monitoring programs and will inspire well-coordinated surveys across multiple administrative borders and populations, translating into improved landscape-level large carnivore management decision-making. In addition, the use of this Bayesian framework allows a simple way to visualise the degree of uncertainty around population parameter estimates; thus, it constitutes an intuitive approach to present monitoring results to managers and different stakeholders. Our approach can be widely applied to broader spatial scales in wildlife monitoring where detection probabilities differ between states and where several methods are being used in combination to estimate different states in a population.
... Wolves are usually wary of and avoid humans. However, improper household waste disposal methods practiced in the area (Hasanzadeh, Kaboli, Khosravi, & Ahmadi, 2012), as well as the availability of livestock near villages, attracts hungry wolves to the outskirts of villages resulting in their habituation to human presence, and thus an increase in predatory attacks (Eggermann, Da-Costa, Guerra, Kirchner, & Petrucci-Fonseca, 2011;Krithivasan, Athreya, & Odden, 2009;Llaneza, López-Bao, & Sazatornil, 2012). ...
Article
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Wildlife attacks on humans are an example of serious human-wildlife conflict. Such attacks are rarely studied in Asia and particularly not in Iran. A total of 53 wolf (Canis lupus) attacks were recorded on humans in the Hamedan province, a human-dominated landscape in west Iran, between April 2001 and April 2012. Most attacks were classified as predatory (68%) and pet-related (19%) in nature. The majority of victims were children (12 years old or younger; 62%). Most incidents (70%) took place during the wolf’s pup-rearing season. The most frequent human activities at time of attack were recreation based (57%). The locations of attacks occurred frequently in the farmlands (43%) and outskirts of villages (41%). We recommend that future wolf attacks could be reduced or prevented through modification of human behavior and public education designed to prevent the habituation of wolves.
... To wrongly claim the presence of pups when there are in fact none (false positives) is possibly the most undesirable mistake, although it can be minimized by applying predictive models (2.6-3.9% using predictive AED models). Simulated howling is one of the most commonly used methods to monitor wolf populations [6,20,21,29,50,51]. In Europe, for instance, this method is systematically used in Finland, Estonia, Romania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, Slovenia, Italy, France, Portugal and Spain [52]. ...
Article
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Population monitoring is crucial for wildlife management and conservation. In the last few decades, wildlife researchers have increasingly applied bioacoustics tools to obtain information on several essential ecological parameters, such as distribution and abundance. One such application involves wolves (Canis lupus). These canids respond to simulated howls by emitting group vocalizations known as chorus howls. These responses to simulated howls reveal the presence of wolf litters during the breeding period and are therefore often used to determine the status of wolf populations. However, the acoustic structure of chorus howls is complex and discriminating the presence of pups in a chorus is sometimes difficult, even for experienced observers. In this study, we evaluate the usefulness of analyses of the acoustic energy distribution in chorus howls to identify the presence of pups in a chorus. We analysed 110 Iberian wolf chorus howls with known pack composition and found that the acoustic energy distribution is concentrated at higher frequencies when there are pups vocalizing. We built predictive models using acoustic energy distribution features to determine the presence of pups in a chorus, concluding that the acoustic energy distribution in chorus howls can be used to determine the presence of wolf pups in a pack. The method we outline here is objective, accurate, easily implemented, and independent of the observer's experience. These advantages are especially relevant in the case of broad scale surveys or when many observers are involved. Furthermore, the analysis of the acoustic energy distribution can be implemented for monitoring other social canids that emit chorus howls such as jackals or coyotes, provides an easy way to obtain information on ecological parameters such as reproductive success, and could be useful to study other group vocalizations.
... Whereas some of these studies are of high scientific quality, only a small proportion has been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. As an example, a search of titles, abstracts and keywords of published papers, since 2000 with the words ''Canis lupus signatus'' and ''Portugal'' showed that in the last 15 years, only 14 papers were published in peer-reviewed journals (Vos 2000;Bessa-Gomes and Petrucci-Fonseca 2003;Santos et al. 2007;Á lvares et al. 2011;Eggermann et al. 2011;Godinho et al. 2011;Gonçalves et al. 2011;Milheiras and Hodge 2011;Müller et al. 2011;Gonçalves et al. 2012;Simões et al. 2012;Gonçalves et al. 2013;Guerra et al. 2013;Torres et al. 2015). Of these, six are focused on zoonotic diseases, three on Iberian wolf distribution patterns, two on the cultural dimensions of wolves, two on the Iberian wolf diet and one on genetics (wolf-dog hybridization). ...
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The Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus), an endemic subspecies of the Iberian Peninsula, is endangered in Portugal. Contrary to the rest of Europe, the distribution of this subspecies has been declining in Portugal throughout the twentieth century to the present day. Knowledge of the Iberian wolf in Portugal is limited and this lack of detailed scientific knowledge makes it difficult to evaluate conservation priorities. To fill this gap, we summarize existing knowledge regarding trends and potential threats and provide a perspective on Iberian wolf population trends in Portugal, identifying potential factors modulating such trends. Priorities for research and existing monitoring gaps are presented. Declines are primarily associated with a scarcity of wild prey with consequent livestock predation, and illegal persecution primarily in retaliation for predation on livestock. If these limiting causal factors continue operating, Iberian wolf survival in Portugal is jeopardized. Wolf conservation will benefit from a long-term project including public awareness, scientific research and conservation and management solutions to protect this endangered subspecies. Future research should focus on the mechanisms regulating population size, territory occupancy and interactions with prey species, both domestic and wild.
... Consequently, the wolf plays a relevant role in the rewilding process that is taking place in many areas where it was extirpated but is now returning. In Europe, the wolf is currently recolonizing historical regions of its distribution range [3,25], for example, in Scandinavia [26], Finland [18,27], Poland [28], Germany [13,29], Denmark [30] and Spain [7,31,32]. This return can result in competition for ungulate game species with hunters and trigger conservation conflicts [18,33,34]. ...
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The ongoing recolonisations of human-transformed environments in Europe by large carnivores like the wolf Canis lupus means that conservation conflicts could re-surface, among other reasons, due to predation on ungulate game species. We estimated the effect of wolves on ungulate species using data on wolf prey selection, kill rates and territory size to build a hypothetical case of future expansion. We extrapolated results on predation from the current wolf distribution in central Sweden and eastern Poland to the eventual wolf recolonisation of southern Sweden. We then calculated the proportion of five ungulate game species killed annually by wolves, and the ratio between the predicted annual predation by wolves given future colonization and the number of ungulates currently harvested by hunters. Results showed that wolf recolonization in southern Sweden would have a minor impact on the estimated population densities of red deer Cervus elaphus, fallow deer Dama dama and wild boar Sus scrofa, but is likely to lead to a significant reduction in human captures of moose Alces alces and roe deer Capreolus capreolus. The current five-ungulate species system in southern Sweden suggests a potential for two to four times higher wolf density than the two-ungulate species system in the northern part of their current distribution. Management and conservation of recolonizing large carnivores require a better understanding of the observed impact on game populations under similar ecological conditions to ameliorate conservation conflicts and achieve a paradigm of coexistence. Integrating these predictions into management is paramount to the current rewilding trend occurring in many areas of Europe or North America.
... Consequently, herders who temporarily live in these highlands, presenting a lower human presence compared to the lowland, may influence the probability of livestock depredation risk by wolves. Fourth, wolves often avoid human settlements (Eggermann et al., 2011). Open landscapes at higher elevations provide favourable conditions for wolves. ...
Article
Human-wildlife conflicts are a growing problem in Iran and pose a notable challenge to conservation efforts in its Hyrcanian forest region. We surveyed 162 households in 45 villages at six study sites to understand species-specific patterns of human-wildlife conflicts and people’s reactions to these conflicts, and to suggest appropriate conflict mitigation measures. By using generalized linear and generalized linear mixed models, we analysed socio-economic and ecological variables to find key determinants of the main conflict types around seven species of mammals. We also incorporated prey richness data (i.e. red deer, roe deer and wild boar) in our models. Wild boar (Sus scrofa) and grey wolf (Canis lupus) were found to be the primary conflict species in regard to reported levels of severity and crop loss by wild boars was reported by 97% of households. Logistic regression showed that these conflicts were positively influenced by the variety of cultivated crop species and the size of land under cultivation. Generalized linear mixed models showed that human-wild boar conflicts increased in areas with lower human density, vegetation cover and distance to protected areas. Wolf conflicts were most frequent in the form of sheep attacks (81%) compared to goat (11%) and cattle (8%) attacks. Our analysis showed that the attacks were positively influenced by village and elevation and increased in areas with lower prey richness and those located closer to, or inside, protected areas. Several cost-effective mitigation measures should be used complementarily according to their effectiveness. These include avoiding planting of palatable seasonal crops near protected areas and establishing physical barriers around crop fields to lower large-scale crop damage by wild boars. To reduce livestock predation by wolf, it will be essential to address the restoration of the wild prey community and efficiency of animal husbandry practices.
... Consequently, more herders temporarily live in these highlands, which may suggests that the lower the human presence the higher the probability of livestock depredation risk by wolves. Fourth, wolves often avoid human settlements (Eggermann et al. 2011). Remote forest regions with dense vegetation cover and the proximity to borders of PAs provide a favourable condition for wolves as they can escape from persecution. ...
Thesis
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Anthropogenic activities, such as overexploitation (poaching, logging) and farming (livestock grazing), are the most serious threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services. The effects of these drivers may be synergistic and variable across different species. Many terrestrial large bodied mammals experience range shrinkage and face extinction risks and population declines across the world. By these activities, humans either directly (prey poaching) or indirectly (logging and livestock grazing) affect the survival rates of large mammal species. Protected areas (PAs) have been the most effective tool to preserve native species. However, the effectiveness of PAs in relation to large mammal distribution or conservation in temperate forests has rarely been assessed, particularly at a large landscape scale. In this study, I assessed the effects of threats to seven native mammal species in the Hyrcanian forest of Iran, namely the Persian Leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor), grey wolf (Canis lupus), brown bear (Ursus acrtos), bezoar goat (Capra aegagrus), Caspian red deer (Cervus elaphus maral), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), and wild boar (Sus scrofa). In addition, I assessed whether there are direct effects of poaching on livestock depredation by large carnivores. I used a novel approach to survey mammal species occupancy over a large landscape (18 protected and non-protected areas) and walked 1204 km distributed randomly over 93 16-km2 cells. Field surveys resulted in 2876 animal signs of the above-mentioned species over three discrete surveys. I used single-season Bayesian occupancy modeling and estimated the occupancy and detection probability rates for each target species across the study sites. The results explicitly showed that grazing had negative and significant impact on the occupancy of the very patchily distributed Persian leopard (β = -1.65, Credibility Interval CI - 2.85 to -0.65), Caspian red deer (β = -1.36, CI -2.34 to -0.45) and roe deer (β = -1.61, CI -2.96 to -0.58) while logging negatively affected red deer (β = -0.82, CI -1.69 to -0.03). The intensities of grazing and logging were correlated (r = 0.59), followed by logging and poaching (r = 0.39), grazing and poaching (r = 0.37) (Chapter2). I estimated the population density of the main wild ungulate species hunted by poachers and Persian leopards using random encounter modelling from camera traps (2777 camera days), fecal standing crop sampling (38 km), direct line transect sampling (186 km) and double-observer point-counts (64 scans) (Chapters 3 and 4). The results suggest that, due to poaching, population densities of the Caspian red deer, bezoar goat and urial have decline by 66-89% compared to the 1970ies. However, wild boar abundance estimates have increased by 58% during the same period. Using wild prey encounter rates (1204 km) and interview data (n = 201), I estimated the effects of forest cover, IUCN category of reserves, distance to villages and livestock encounter rates on livestock depredation rates by Persian leopard and grey wolf. Prey poaching was the most influential predictor of livestock depredation, as an increase in poaching occurrence by one sign/km significantly increased depredation up to three times depending on the combination of livestock and carnivore species. The results also showed that the level of poaching was significantly lower in national parks (cat. II) than in other reserves and non-protected areas, though poaching signs were frequently found in the majority of surveyed cells (58%). The occurrences of Caspian red deer and roe deer were significantly inversely associated with poaching and these species seem to be locally extinct in some of the surveyed sites. Furthermore, using household interview data (n = 162) in 45 villages and wild prey richness, I assessed the species-specific patterns of human-wildlife conflicts in the Hyrcanian forest. Based on multivariate analyses, grey wolf and wild boar were the major conflict species. Crop loss due to wild boars was reported by the majority of the households and was mainly triggered by crop variety. Wolf conflicts were mainly related to depredation on sheep (81%) compared to goats (11%) and cattle (8%). These attacks were positively associated with highlands, villages located in vicinity or inside PAs and lower prey richness. In conclusion, conservation authorities should consider upgrading parts of protected areas and wildlife refuges retaining natural habitats to the category II. PAs require priority actions in assessment of grazing capacities, allocation and enforcement of grazing quotas. Moreover, better cross-sectoral coordination is needed among conservation authorities to avoid further depletion of the mammal community in the Hyrcanian forest and to address sustainable livelihoods near PAs. The poachers' incentives need to be clearly understood and be subject to focused follow-up studies. Mitigating livestock depredation requires a combination of strict law enforcement of anti-poaching measures, upgrading the status of reserves and wild prey recovery plans. The persistence of protection-reliant species depends on their existence outside and inside PAs, ecological requirements and law enforcement measures. Thus, for sustainable wildlife conservation a holistic participatory approach is essential that involves local communities.
... Wolves and coyotes, on the other hand, restrict their diurnal movements in order to avoid humans. They regulate their activities in such a way that they can avoid human interaction, but ensure hunting of prey species -ungulates, rodents and other small mammals (Eggermann et al. 2011;Kitchen et al. 2000;Theuerkauf et al. 2007Theuerkauf et al. , 2003a. Although social behaviour patterns in the family Canidae vary from species to species, it shows an evolutionarily conservative trend (Scott, 1967) as these animals continue to maintain their association with humans. ...
Article
The domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) is known to have evolved from gray wolves, about 15,000 years ago. They frequently exist as free-ranging populations across the world. They are typically scavengers and well adapted to living among humans. Most canids living in and around urban habitats tend to avoid humans and show crepuscular activity peaks. In this study, we carried out a detailed population-level survey on free-ranging dogs in West Bengal, India, to understand the activity patterns of free-ranging dogs in relation to human activity. Using 5669 sightings of dogs, over a period of 1 year, covering the 24 h of the day, we carried out an analysis of the time activity budget of free-ranging dogs to conclude that they are generalists in their habit. They remain active when humans are active. Their activity levels are affected significantly by age class and time of the day. In addition, we provide a detailed ethogram of free-ranging dogs. This, to our knowledge, is the first study of this kind, which might be used to further study the eco-ethology of these dogs.
... Z tym problemem zmagają się m.in. Stany Zjednoczone oraz Kanada (34), Finlandia (6), Portugalia (12), Hiszpania (7,15), Iran (5,20), Włochy (10), a nawet Indie (21). Badania prowadzone przez Merrigi i in. ...
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The aim of this study was to determine the predation pressure of the grey wolf (Canis lupus) on wild ungulate populations and the relationship between the size of the grey wolf population and the number of confirmed kills of livestock and companion animals in Poland over eight hunting seasons from 2011/2012 to 2018/2019. There is a positive and complete relationship between the increasing wolf population and the number of confirmed deer kills. The size of the wolf population in Poland was compared to the size of domestic and companion animal population and the number of specimens that fell prey to the grey wolf. It was demonstrated that as the wolf population in Poland increases, the number of confirmed kills of farm and companion animals rises. It seems rational to take steps aimed at mitigating this problem as soon as possible. It is necessary to consider implementation of an integrated protection system that involves culling and employing available methods to deter wolves from attacking grazing herds.
... Several studies have reported positive relationships between open habitats and wolf presence [61], kills, and scavenging sites [50,52,62,63], suggesting that extended open areas favour coursing behaviour, allowing wolves to engage in cooperative hunting strategies and to better choose vulnerable individuals [52,63]. Differently, in our case study, open habitats (i.e., pastures and natural grasslands) negatively affected wolf responsiveness in winter. ...
Article
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Winter resources are crucial for wildlife, and, at a local scale, some anthropogenic and environmental factors could affect their availability. In the case of wolves, it is known that vocalisations in response to unfamiliar howls are issued to defend their territory and the important resources within it. Then, we studied the characteristics of winter response sites (WRS) during the cold season, aiming to assess their eventual ability to provide insights into the distribution of valuable resources within their territories. Within this scope, we planned a wolf-howling survey following a standardised approach. The study covered an Apennine (Central Italy) area of 500 km2. A hexagonal mesh was imposed on the area, in order to determine the values of different variables at the local scale. A logistic LASSO regression was performed. WRS were positively related to the presence of thermal refuges (odds = 114.485), to patch richness (odds = 1.153), wild boar drive hunting areas (odds = 1.015), and time elapsed since the last hunt (odds = 1.019). Among negative factors, stray dogs reply considerably affects wolves’ responsiveness (odds = 0.207), where odds are the exponentiated coefficients estimated by the logistic lasso regression. These results suggest that WRS are related to anthropogenic and environmental factors favouring the predation process.
... Así cuando ésta es baja muestra un carácter más especialista, depredando sobre los lagomorfos con mayor frecuencia; mientras que cuando es alta su comportamiento trófico se vuelve más generalista. (Glenz et al., 2001;Grilo et al., 2002;Cayuela, 2004;Eggermann et al., 2011;Gastón et al., 2016;Milanesi et al., 2017;entre otros). De esta forma, no se incluye la trama de relaciones ecológicas entre los distintos tipos de hábitat presentes y, por lo tanto, no se considera el funcionamiento ecológico. ...
... В Европа са описвани и други подвидове, но техният таксономичен статус е съмнителен. Това не се споделя от всички специалисти и в съвременни електронни и литературни източници има информация за някои от тях: Canis lupus italicus (Altobello, 1921) от Италия, Франция и Швейцария (IUCN, 2007;Poglayen et al., 2017), Canis lupus signatus (Cabrera, 1907) от Пиринейския полуостров (Северна Португалия, Северозападна Испания) (Eggermanna et al., 2011), Canis lupus kurjak (Bolkay, 1925) от бивша Югославия и Canis lupus campestris (Dwigubski, 1804) от степните райони на Източна Европа (Спасов, 2007). ...
Article
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Парижкото споразумение от 2015 г., прието от страните, подписали Рамкова Конвенция на ООН за изменението на климата, поставя целта повишението на температурата в световен мащаб да се оgраничи до 2°C над равнището от прединдустриалната епоха. В изпълнение на своите ангажименти във връзка с Парижкото споразумение, Европейският съюз се ангажира да намали емисиите си с 40% до 2030 г. спрямо нивото им през 1990 г. През 2018 г. бе приет Регламент 841/2018 на ЕС, за включването на емисиите и поглъщанията на парникови газове от земеползването, промените в земеползването и горското стопанство (ЗПЗГС) в рамката в областта на климата и енергетиката до 2030 г. Регламентът също така определя правилата за отчитане на емисиите и поглъщанията и реда на проверка за спазването на задълженията. Съгласно изискванията на Регламента, референтното ниво за горите на България е определено като средна стойност на емисиите и поглъщането на парникови газове от управлявани горски площи за периода 2021-2025 г. За целта е направена прогноза на развитието на въглеродните депа - главно стоящата маса и ползването, като се прие запазване на интензитета на ползването, документиран през референтния период 2000-2009 г. За определяне на запаса на въглерод в биомасата (вкл. подземна и надземна), са използвани емисионните фактори, публикувани в Националния доклад за инвентаризация на парникови газове за 2018 г. (НДИПГ, 2018 г.).
... high amounts of open shrublands consisting of land used as pastures by freely roaming livestock in the corresponding region (Eggermann, Costa, Guerra, Kirchner, & Petrucci-Fonseca, 2011). Meadows were positively related to EC, as a large share of meadows in a region potentially translates into a high availability of livestock as prey. ...
Article
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The distribution of intraspecific genetic variation and how it relates to environmental factors is of increasing interest to researchers in macroecology and biogeography. Recent studies investigated the relationships between the environment and patterns of intraspecific genetic variation across species ranges but only few rigorously tested the relation between genetic groups and their ecological niches. We quantified the relationship of genetic differentiation (FST) and the overlap of ecological niches (as measured by n‐dimensional hypervolumes) among genetic groups resulting from spatial Bayesian genetic clustering in the wolf (Canis lupus) in the Italian peninsula. Within the Italian wolf population, four genetic clusters were detected, and these clusters showed different ecological niches. Moreover, different wolf clusters were significantly related to differences in land cover and human disturbance features. Such differences in the ecological niches of genetic clusters should be interpreted in light of neutral processes that hinder movement, dispersal, and gene flow among the genetic clusters, in order to not prematurely assume any selective or adaptive processes. In the present study, we found that both the plasticity of wolves—a habitat generalist—to cope with different environmental conditions and the occurrence of barriers that limit gene flow lead to the formation of genetic intraspecific genetic clusters and their distinct ecological niches. The distribution of intraspecific genetic variation and how it relates to environmental factors is of increasing interest to researchers in macroecology. Thus, we related genetic differentiation to ecological niche overlap among genetic groups resulting from spatial Bayesian clustering in the wolf population inhabiting part of the Italian peninsula. We found a significant relationship between genetic differentiation and ecological niche overlap and quantified differences in environmental factors among clusters.
... This may also suggest that some important variables influencing wolf habitat selection in our study area are missing from the model. Such variables likely include slope, slope aspect, and prey density, because wolves are known to select southern-and western-facing slopes (Singleton 1995;Arjo et al. 2002) and areas with greater prey availability (Massolo and Meriggi 1998;Eggermann et al. 2011). We excluded slope, slope aspect, and the quadratic term for elevation, from our models due to limitations in degrees of freedom, and prey availability data were unavailable for the study area. ...
Article
Although most predators usually avoid human activity, some individuals instead will habituate to it. Habituation to human presence and infrastructure by predator species such as wolves may lead to conflicts implicating serious risks for public safety and for the survival of the animals involved. Accordingly, this research project aims to shed light on the relationship between wolves and recreational structures using telemetry data from 10 wolves located in the Parc National du Mont-Tremblant (Québec, Canada) and its surrounding area. Using resource selection functions (RSFs), we observed wolf habitat selection in relation to these structures during three biological periods (denning: May–June; rendezvous: June–October; and nomadic: October–April). Our results revealed that wolves selected proximity to linear structures (roads and trails) during the denning and rendezvous periods, but this selection depended on the density of such structures in the surroundings (i.e., functional response in habitat selection): wolves selected proximity to linear structures when these structures were present at greater densities. Wolves avoided housing structures (campsites, cabins, park facilities), especially when these structures were present at greater densities, suggesting that wolves perceived them as a risk. These results suggest that conflicts between visitors and wolves were unlikely to occur in campgrounds during the time of our study. This could indicate that the management measures implemented by the park following the past episodes of conflict were effective. However, wolves’ use of linear structures could lead to increased tolerance to human proximity if left unmanaged.
... They take data from biological, geological, topographic and/or climatic variables which describe favourable features for the occurrence of a certain taxon in order to infer, from its known distribution, potentially suitable areas (Brotons et al. 2004;Elith and Leathwick 2009;Franklin 2009;Mateo et al. 2011). Usually, landscape-scale studies on the suitability of wildlife habitats use landcover types as explicative and independent variables (Glenz et al. 2001;Grilo et al. 2002;Cayuela 2004;Eggermann et al. 2011;Gastón et al. 2016;Milanesi et al. 2017;among others). However, species distribution, in addition to evolutionary and biogeographic history, depends on the spatial variation of the ecological functioning in a territory (Kurki et al. 2000), thus improving SDMs if they incorporate that functioning. ...
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ContextSpecies distribution models (SDMs) usually describe the landscape through single landcover types as explicative and independent variables. However, species distribution responds to ecological processes that are represented in spatial patterns of landcovers, which are not usually considered in SDMs.Objectives From the hypothesis that Iberian lynx occurrence will depend on landscape functioning and that spatial organisation of landcovers is a reliable indicator of landscape functionality, we built a SDM based on landscape structure, to: (i) assess the relevance that spatial organisation of landcovers has for SDMs; (ii) describe the suitable landscape for the presence/conservation of the Iberian lynx.Methods Spatial organisation of landscape is identified by recognising landscape mosaics, which are sets of patches with a similar pattern of boundaries. We identified landscape mosaics within western area of the province of Madrid. Then, we used field-collected lynx scats to test if species’ preferences are related to landscape mosaics.ResultsThe species shows its preference for two out of eight identified mosaics. It shows preference for mosaics with low human-modified holm oak forests, but it does not show rejection of traditional land-uses such as pasture or non-intensive agriculture. The relevance of watercourses was also shown, since two of four mosaics with characteristic riparian vegetation prove to be relevant in the model.Conclusions As landscape includes spatial interactions (boundaries) among landcovers it is a more holistic descriptor than single landcovers. This contributes to increase SDMs performance and usefulness for designing more accurate conservation actions, compared to those based on single landcover composition.
... The wolf does not avoid agricultural areas just because of the lack of shelter and the low density of prey species, but also due to the anthropogenic disturbance typical of these habitats. Several other studies have shown that anthropogenic pressure is the variable with the most negative effect on wolf occurrence [62,63,64,65]. Moreover, urban centers and agricultural areas, as well as linear infrastructures, such as roads or canals, can be important barriers for wolf movement [64]. ...
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The Italian wolf (Canis lupus italicus) population has remained isolated South of the Alps for the last few thousand years. After a strong decline, the species has recolonized the Apennines and the Western Alps, while it is currently struggling to colonize the Eastern Alps. Recently, the species was detected in a lowland park connecting the Northern Apennines to the Central Alps. If the park was able to sustain a net wolf dispersal flow, this could significantly boost the connection with the Eastern Alps and the Dinaric-Balkan population. We investigated the suitability of the park as a functional ecological corridor for the wolf through the unhospitable lowland of Northern Italy. We collected wolf occurrence data in two study areas. We modeled species distribution running a separate ensemble model for each study area and then merging the output of the models to obtain an integrated suitability map. We used this map to identify corridors for the wolf adopting a factorial least-cost path and a cumulative resistant kernel approach. The connectivity models showed that only two corridors exist in the lowland areas between the Northern Apennines and the Central Alps. The Western corridor is a blind route, while the eastern corridor passes through the park and has a continuous course. However, the models also revealed a scarce resilience of corridor connectivity in the passageways between the park and the Apennines and the Prealps, which suggests that urgent management actions are necessary to ensure the future functionality of this important corridor.
... Wolves and coyotes, on the other hand, restrict their diurnal movements in order to avoid humans. They regulate their activities in such a way that they can avoid human interaction, but ensure livestock hunt 60,61,64 . Although, social behaviour patterns in the family Canidae, varies from species to species, yet it shows an evolutionarily conservative trend 65 as these animals continue to maintain their association with humans. ...
Preprint
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The domestic dog is known to have evolved from gray wolves, about 15,000 years ago. They majorly exist as free-ranging populations across the world. They are typically scavengers and well adapted to living among humans. Most canids living in and around urban habitats tend to avoid humans and show crepuscular activity peaks. In this study, we carried out a detailed population-level survey on free-ranging dogs in West Bengal, India, to understand the activity patterns of free-ranging dogs in relation to human activity. Using 5669 sightings of dogs, over a period of 1 year, covering the 24 hours of the day, we carried out an analysis of the time-activity budget of free-ranging dogs to conclude that they are generalists in their habit. They remain active when humans are active. Their activity levels are affected significantly by age class and time of the day. Multivariate analysis revealed the presence of certain behavioural clusters on the basis of time of the day and energy expenditure in the behaviours. In addition, we provide a detailed ethogram of free-ranging dogs. This, to our knowledge, is the first study of this kind, which might be used to further study the eco-ethology of these dogs.
... The PNALM comprises relatively ideal habitat conditions for wolves compared to other regions of Italy and, more generally, of southern Europe (e.g. Eggermann et al., 2011;Llaneza, L opez-Bao & Sazatornil, 2012). Yet, human infrastructures, including settlements and a road network, have been historically present in the area, and multipleuse practices (e.g. ...
Article
Understanding large carnivores’ behavioural adaptations to habitat modifications is critical for their persistence in human‐modified environments. Based on 10 Global Positioning System‐collared wolves in a protected area of central Italy, we investigated wolf responses to anthropogenic features such as roads and settlements by using Step and Resource Selection Functions. We revealed that responses by wolves to anthropogenic features varied according to behavioural state (travelling vs. resting) and social affiliation (pack members vs. floaters), while accounting for seasonal and circadian effects. During summer, pack members strongly avoided roads and settlements throughout all day, both when travelling and resting, and complemented this response by selecting forested areas and shrublands. Conversely, during fall and winter, pack members relaxed the avoidance towards anthropogenic features by travelling closer to main roads and settlements, but they still selected resting sites farther from anthropogenic features and located them in denser cover and along steeper slopes. Compared to pack members, floaters, when travelling, showed a weaker avoidance of main roads and settlements and did not show any selection pattern towards environmental variables. When resting, contrary to pack members, floaters selected sites closer to main roads and settlements, even though these were still located along denser cover and steeper slopes. Our findings suggest that wolves living in human‐modified landscapes adapt behaviourally to the spatial and temporal distribution of perceived interference by humans and that their response is complementary to the expected seasonal and circadian variation in human activity. These adaptations appear to be aided by the selection of habitat features that enhance security and allow segregation from humans. Maintenance of such habitat characteristics appears of critical importance to ensure the functionality of behavioural adaptations by wolves living in human‐modified landscapes. Understanding large carnivores’ behavioural adaptations to habitat modifications is critical for their persistence in human‐modified environments. Based on 10 GPS‐collared wolves in central Italy, we investigated wolf responses to roads and settlements by using Step and Resource Selection Functions. We revealed that responses by wolves to anthropogenic features varied according to behavioural state (travelling vs. resting) and social affiliation (pack members vs. floaters), while accounting for seasonal, circadian and habitat‐mediated effects. Our findings suggest that wolves living in human‐modified landscapes adapt to the spatial and temporal distribution of perceived interference by humans and that their response is complementary to the expected seasonal and circadian variation in human activity. These adaptations appear to be aided by the selection of habitat features that allow segregation from humans. Maintenance of such habitat characteristics appears of critical importance to ensure the functionality of behavioural adaptations by wolves living in human‐modified landscapes.
... Damage to livelihoods can reduce support for conservation initiatives (Anthony 2007;Anthony, Scott & Antypas 2010). Livestock predation often results in disproportionate deaths of the animals deemed responsible and persecution of predators is common (Meriggi & Lovari 1996;Shivik 2006;Eggermann et al. 2011). Lethal control of predators to pre-empt or in response to livestock predation has become common management in many contexts (Macdonald & Baker 2004;Treves et al. 2006). ...
Thesis
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This thesis fills knowledge gaps regarding spatio-temporal interactions between sympatric carnivores, mesopredator risk mitigation behaviour, and thus, the mechanisms that enable coexistence. In the Anthropocene biodiversity crisis, discerning how and when diversity is maintained is critical. Employing a robust multi-method approach, a model study system was used to examine the top-down effects of wolves, Canis lupus and Eurasian lynx, Lynx lynx, upon red fox, Vulpes vulpes in Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia. Chapter Two utilises novel foraging experiments, combining camera traps with the giving-up density (GUD) framework. Foxes responded to wolf urine by taking less food, spending less time at patches, leaving at higher quitting harvest rates, and adjusting their behaviour when at patches, spending less time foraging and more time being vigilant and sniffing the ground. Chapter Three examines spatial relationships using occupancy modelling. Foxes were not spatially excluded by large carnivores, but were in fact attracted to them (or at least the same conditions) and more detectable in their presence. The positive association was most strongly related to lynx, however, conversely, foxes responded elusively towards human activity. Chapter Four examines temporal relationships using kernel density estimates, circular statistics and nocturnality risk ratios. Fox activity overlapped with other carnivores but avoided peak activity periods, having significantly different record distributions. Foxes were more nocturnal in higher intensity large carnivore presence, seemingly using the cover of darkness to remain safe. High human activity however mediated this interaction, decreasing its strength. Subtle temporal avoidance and fine-scale spatio-temporal risk mitigation strategies can enable mesopredator access to resources and predator coexistence in the presence of intraguild aggression. Where food subsidies are absent, humans may increase mesopredator elusiveness but may also offer some level of temporal shielding from large carnivores. Protected area management should consider ecological baselines and the effects of human disturbance.
... 140,000 km 2 32,35,36 . A large part of this population occurs in human-dominated landscapes [37][38][39] and is remarkable for feeding mainly on anthropogenic sources of food in some areas [40][41][42] . ...
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Highly mobile mammalian carnivores are expected to have the capability to maintain high levels of gene flow across large geographic scales. Nonetheless, surprising levels of genetic structure have been found in many such populations. We combined genetic and spatial behavioural information from wolves (Canis lupus) in the Iberian Peninsula (Western Europe) during the last two decades to present a particular case of low dispersal levels in a large carnivore population persisting in human-dominated landscapes. We found an exceptionally reticulated pattern of cryptic population structure emerging at two hierarchical levels, in which four or eleven meaningful genetic clusters can be recognized, respectively. These clusters were characterized by moderate-high levels of differentiation (average pairwise FST = 0.09-0.19), low levels of admixture and varying degrees of genetic diversity. The number of dispersers identified among the 11 clusters was very low (<4% out of 218 wolves). Spatial information of tracked wolves further confirmed the geographical genetic patterns (only 2 out of 85 collared wolves overlapped with more than one genetic cluster). The high levels of genetic structure in this population may be determined by the recent demographic history of this population, among other factors. The identification of meaningful genetic clusters has implications for the delineation of conservation units and, consequently, on the conservation and management actions for Iberian wolves.
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Despite recent recovery of large carnivores throughout Europe such as the brown bear (Ursus arctos) and the gray wolf (Canis lupus), some of their populations are still threatened and their viability depends on human tolerance to share mixed landscapes. We investigated the drivers of landholders' tolerance in Abruzzo (Italy), a region with a long history of cohabitation, by applying the Wildlife Tolerance Model (WTM) (Kansky et al., 2016, Biological Conservation, 201, 137–145). Using structural equation modeling we assessed relationships between WTM variables. This framework hypothesizes that exposure to a species and experiences with a species drive perceptions of benefits and costs, and ultimately tolerance. We then sought to understand similarities and differences in tolerance drivers between the two species and across two areas that differed in the duration of human–carnivore cohabitation. Results showed both similarities and differences in drivers between species and areas, resulting in seven management proposals to foster tolerance. Increasing intangible benefits and positive experiences were two strategies that were similar for both species and areas, while five strategies differed across species and areas. Our methodological approach can be applied in other landscapes with other species to determine the extent to which multispecies management across landscapes is possible.
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Documento que compila a informação mais atual sobre o lobo-ibérico em Portugal, relevante para o Plano de Ação para a Conservação do Lobo-Ibérico em Portugal (PACLobo).
Technical Report
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Since the year 2000, people and wolves have again been sharing the same habitat in Germany. The return of the wolves poses new challenges especially for animal keepers. In Lower Saxony, the “Land of the Horse”, horse keepers in particular are finding themselves in a new situation. While there are clear-cut regulations for the protection of sheep, information on the interaction between horses and wolves has not been available. To fill this gap, experts from the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU), Pferdeland Niedersachsen GmbH and the Trakehner Association have joined hands with mammalian biologists and scientists from the University of Hildes-heim to offer a contribution towards a low-conflict coexistence of horses and wolves. The goal has been to create a manual that both summarizes the current state of re-search and offers horse keepers practical recommendations on how to deal with the presence of wolves in their specific region.
Technical Report
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Since the year 2000, people and wolves have again been sharing the same habitat in Germany. The return of the wolves poses new challenges especially for animal keepers. In Lower Saxony, the “Land of the Horse”, horse keepers in particular are finding themselves in a new situation. While there are clear-cut regulations for the protection of sheep, information on the interaction between horses and wolves has not been available. To fill this gap, experts from the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU), Pferdeland Niedersachsen GmbH and the Trakehner Association have joined hands with mammalian biologists and scientists from the University of Hildes-heim to offer a contribution towards a low-conflict coexistence of horses and wolves. The goal has been to create a manual that both summarizes the current state of re-search and offers horse keepers practical recommendations on how to deal with the presence of wolves in their specific region.
Technical Report
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Since the year 2000, people and wolves have again been sharing the same habitat in Germany. The return of the wolves poses new challenges especially for animal keepers. In Lower Saxony, the " Land of the Horse " , horse keepers in particular are finding themselves in a new situation. While there are clear-cut regulations for the protection of sheep, information on the interaction between horses and wolves has not been available. To fill this gap, experts from the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU), Pferdeland Niedersachsen GmbH and the Trakehner Association have joined hands with mammalian biologists and scientists from the University of Hildes-heim to offer a contribution towards a low-conflict coexistence of horses and wolves. The goal has been to create a manual that both summarizes the current state of research and offers horse keepers practical recommendations on how to deal with the presence of wolves in their specific region.
Chapter
In addition to its immense environmental benefits, the great expansion of wind energy generates simultaneous concerns about its adverse impacts. The impacts have been identified for human populations, landscape and wildlife, but, due to direct fatality, birds and bats are the groups for which scientists are most concerned. Due to renewable energy goals, Portugal has witnessed a great development of wind energy in recent years, with a substantial part of its mountainous areas occupied by on-shore wind turbines. In this chapter we present a literature review on the major impacts that wind energy has on birds and bats, but also in terrestrial mammals, because of the evidence of disturbance and/or displacement of more sensitive species, mostly during the operation phase. Despite there are few published data, we focus the research on Portuguese examples. Some considerations of evaluation of the impacts and cumulative impacts are also made.
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During September 1980-December 1986, 81 radio-collared wolves (Canis lupus) were monitored in and near the 839-km2 Bearville Study Area )BSA) in north-central Minnesota. Each year winter-territory size averaged 78-153 km2; no territories had road densities >0.72 km/km2. From zero to 30% of radiomarked pup, yearling, or adult wolves left their territories each month. Pups left natal packs during January-March and older wolves left frequently during September-April. Wolves temporarily leaving territories moved 5-105 km away and were absent 3-118 days; up to 6 exploratory moves were made prior to dispersal. Dispersing wolves traveled 5-100 km away during periods of 1-265 days. One disperser joined and established pack, but 16 others formed new packs. Annual dispersal rates were about 0.17 for adults, 0.49 for yearlings, and 0.10 for pups. Each year mean pack size ranged from 5-9 in November/December to 4-6 in March. Annual wolf density (including 16% lone wolves) ranged from 39-59 wolves/1,000 km2 in November-December and 29-40 wolves/1,000 km2 in March. Annual immigration was 7%. The observed mean annual finite rate of increase was 1.02, and annual rates of increase were correlated with mean number of pups per pack in November. Litters averaged 6.6 pups at birth and 3.2 pups by mid-November, at which time pups made up 46% of pack members. Annual survival of radio-marked wolves >5 months old was 0.64. Despite legal protection, 80% of identified wolf mortality was human caused (30% shot, 12% snared, 11% hit by vehicles, 6% killed by government trappers, and 21% kill by humans in some undetermined manner); 10% of wolves that died were killed by other wolves. During sample periods in 2 winters, wolves were located twice daily to estimate predation rates on white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Estimated minimum kill rates during January-February (x = 21 days/kill/wolf) did not differ between winters with differing snow depths. Winter consumption averaged 2.0 kg deer/wolf/day (6% body wt/day). Scat analyses indicated deer were the primary prey in winter and spring, but beaver (Castor canadensis) were an important secondary prey (20-47% of items in scats) during April-May. Neonatal deer fawns occurred in 25-60% of scats during June-July whereas the occurrence of beaver declined markedly. Overall, deer provided 79-98% of biomass consumed each month. Adult wolves consumed an estimated 19/year, of which 11 were fawns. A review of North American studies indicates that wolf numbers are directly related to ungulate biomass. Where deer are primary prey, territory size is related to deer density. Per capita biomass availability likely affects pup survival, the major factor in wolf population growth. Annual rates of increase of exploited populations vary directly with mortality rates, and harvest exceeding 28% of the winter population often result in declines. Management decisions concerning wolf and ungulate density and ungulate harvest by humans can be made using equations that incorporate estimate of wolf density, annual ungulated kill per wolf, ungulate densities, potential rate of increase for ungulates, and harvest.
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Wolf management can be controversial, reflecting a wide range of public attitudes. We analyzed wolf management case histories representing a spectrum of approaches in Canada and the United States. During the early 20th century, wolves were considered undesirable. They were subject to persecution and were extirpated from large areas of their original range. With increased environmental awareness in the 1970s, attitudes toward wolves began to change. Wolf conservation became a focus of public interest, providing conditions that favored regional wolf recovery. However, in regions where livestock production or big-game hunting is valued, wolves have continued to be controlled by management authorities or through the actions of individual citizens. With US wolf populations recovering in the conterminous states, a rule was approved to delist the species from endangered to threatened status under the Endangered Species Act. Notwithstanding the intent of legal instruments, history has demonstrated that societal values ultimately determine the survival of species such as the wolf.
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until recently. The radio tracked wolves of three packs moved throughout the day with one major peak around dawn. Wolves avoided the area around main public roads more at night (up to a distance of 1.5 km) than in the day (up to 0.5 km). Wolves avoided a 0.5-km area around secondary public roads and paved forest roads both at night and in the day but did not avoid the surroundings of settlements. As compared with other studies, wolves in this study were the least nocturnal although human density was the highest. We conclude that human activity is unlikely to be the reason for nocturnal activity in wolves.
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A GIS multivariate model based on the Mahalanobis distance statistic is proposed to evaluate habitat suitability for the wolf Canis lupus in northern Spain. Results derived from the model show that wolves can potentially thrive in some habitats on the southern and western side of the study area where conflicts with the human population are minimum. However, some other areas that have been recently occupied by wolves were determined as largely unsuitable. If appropriate management strategies are not implemented, negative human attitudes towards wolves could increase. The consequences of this might be a rise in unregulated killing of wolves in both suitable and unsuitable areas.
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Eastern timber wolf Canis lupus lycaon once ranged throughout Minnesota, but by the early 1900s, they were restricted to the forsted NE half of the state. By the early 1950s, 500-700 wolves lived in c31 000km2 of major range (occupied by reproducing packs), mostly within 100km of Canada. By 1965, when Minnesota terminated bounties, perhaps 350-700 wolves remained. About 750 wolves were present in 1970 when their harvest was protected throughout Minnesota in 1974. By 1979, an estimated 1235 wolves inhabited 36 500km2 of major range, an annual finite rate of increase (λ) of 1.06 since 1970. By winter 1982-1983, range occupied by reproducing packs had expanded farther W and S and covered 57 050km2. During winter 1988-1989, survey results, combined with GIS data, indicated wolf packs occupied a minimum of 53 100km2. Extrapolations of winter wolf territory and pack size, as well as ratios of wolf:ungulate biomass, indicate that Minnesota's wolf population had increased to 1500-1750 since 1979 (λ=1.03). Future increase depends on the extent to which wolf packs colonize an additional 11 500km2 of potential range with road densities <0.70km/km2 or human densities <4 people/km2, abundance of ungulate prey, and the level of human-caused mortality. -from Authors
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Relationships of wolves (Canis lupus) and ungulates were studied in the Polish part of Biaowieza Primeval Forest with high densities of prey. The number of wolves ranged from 7 to 19, and the number of packs ranged from 2 to 4. Average densities were 2.3 wolves/ 100 km 2. Red deer (Cervus elaphus) was the main prey of wolves. Roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), wild boar (Sus scrofa), moose (Alces alces), and European bison (Bison bon- asus) were hunted less than expected based on their abundance. Mean mass of ungulates killed by wolves was 55 kg. Prey were consumed quickly, with 57% of kills completely eaten on the 1st day after killing. Average killing rate by wolves was 0.78 ungulate per wolf pack per day (0.14 prey item per wolf per day). Results of this study combined with the data obtained in the Belarussian part of Biaowieza Primeval Forest in 1946-1985 allowed for analysis of dietary response of wolves to changes in densities of ungulates. Wolves showed a response to abundance of red deer. The amount of other ungulates in their diet depended on the densities of red deer. From 1991 to 1996, wolves annually removed 57-105 red deer, 19-38 wild boar, 19-25 roe deer, and 0-2 moose per 100 km 2. Those amounts were equivalent to 9-13% of spring-summer densities of red deer, 4-8% of wild boar, 3-4% of roe deer, and 0-29% of moose. Additionally, hunters annually harvested 131-140 red deer, 44-114 roe deer, 1-7 moose, and 45-142 wild boar per 100 km 2. Effects of predation and harvest by hunters on ungulate mortality were likely additive and caused declines in ungulate populations during our study.
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Wolf (Canis lupus) kill rates, factors affecting their variation, and predation impact on ungulates were studied in the Polish part of Białowieża Primeval Forest (580 km2). With the mean size of hunting groups being 4.4 individuals, wolves killed, on average, 0.513 ± 0.04 prey · (pack)-1· d-1 (mean ± 1 SE); 63% of prey were red deer (Cervus elaphus), 28% were wild boar (Sus scrofa), and 4% were roe deer (Capreolus capreolus). Per capita kill rate averaged 0.116 ungulates ·(wolf)-1· d-1, and daily food intake was 5.58 ± 0.32 kg·(wolf)-1· d-1 . Kill rate on red deer was affected by snow cover (P -1· d-1), when piglets were present, than in autumn-winter (0.106 ± 0.04 boar · (pack)-1· d^{-1). Annually, wolves killed on average 72 red deer, 16 roe deer, and 31 wild boar over a 100-km2 area. Compared to prey densities, wolves were an important agent of mortality for red deer only, taking annually 12% of spring-summer (seasonally highest) numbers of deer, which was equivalent to 40% of deer annual increase due to breeding and 40% of their annual mortality. Compared to winter densities (3-6 deer/km2), percentage predation by wolves was inversely density dependent; thus wolves limited deer numbers but did not regulate prey population. By eliminating a substantial proportion of the annual production of the deer population, wolves hamper its growth and prolong the time until it reaches carrying capacity of the habitat. However, wolf predation alone is a poor predictor of deer population dynamics, because deer are also subject to lynx (Lynx lynx) predation and hunting harvest.
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We examined the effect of two kinds of barriers on an expanding gray wolf, Canis lupus L., 1758, population in an agricultural habitat in north-central Spain. The barriers were (i) a four-lane fenced highway along a flat area without wildlife-crossing facilities, and (ii) the River Duero Artery (RDA), comprising the river itself (50-100 m wide) and several small infrastructures along it. From March 1997 to October 2001, all 4 radio-collared wolves living <15 km from the highway (1 adult territorial male, 1 territorial breeder female, 1 dispersing male, and 1 female in 3 periods of her life (territorial immature, disperser, and territorial breeder) crossed it on between 4% and 33% of 45-163 monitoring days via vehicle bridges. Moreover, 4 more highways that we monitored in areas without radio-collared wolves have not delayed expansion of the increasing wolf population, suggesting that these highways are not an important barrier for wolves in our study area. In contrast, only 3 of 8 wolves radio-collared <5 km from the RDA were detected crossing it, and 2 of those 3 started to cross it only after severe habitat disturbance; in addition, the RDA seems to have delayed wolf expansion for some 15 years, which suggests that it is a semipermeable barrier for wolves. We discuss the likely consequences of the RDA on the recovery of the Iberian wolf population.
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Sex, age, bone marrow fat (BMF) content, degree of carcass utilisation and terrain features were analysed for 118 ungulates killed by wolves Canis lupus in the Bieszczady Mountains, Poland, during the winters of 1992-1995 to assess the influence of snow depth on the wolves' predation patterns. In Bieszczady, the snow conditions during the study period were milder than average, with an average total annual snow depth of 1,372 cm and an average snow cover lasting for 94 days. Red deer Cervus elaphus were the primary wolf prey (81%), whereas wild boar Sus scrofa and roe deer Capreolus capreolus were killed less often (9% and 10%, respectively). The majority of prey (74%) was killed in creeks and ravines. The carcass exploitation by wolves was high; of the recovered prey, 55% was more than 60% consumed. The average condition of red deer, as based on BMF, was high (83.4%). BMF varied most among red deer stags and calves, and varied with annual snow depth (N = 29, P < 0.01; N = 28, P = 0.09) and monthly mean snow depth (τ = -0.37, P < 0.005; τ = -0.25, P = 0.06). Wolves killed adult red deer in creeks and ravines with the same frequency regardless of snow depth, whereas calves were killed less often in these places than should be expected from their overall proportion in the sample (N = 95, χ2 = 24.34, P < 0.001). During periods with thinner snow cover, consumption of red deer carcasses was slightly higher than during periods in which the snow cover was deep (τ = -0.42, P < 0.045).
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