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Canids: Foxes, Wolves, Jackals and Dogs. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan

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... As a result, human-carnivore conflict has resulted in significant population declines and range collapses of several species [145] . Canids comprise one of the most prominent families of carnivores globally, with 36 taxa distributed across 13 genera from 81% of countries [146,147] . Canids, in general, are declining across their ranges as a consequence of habitat loss, human persecution, decline in prey populations, disease and harvesting/over-exploitation [20] . ...
... We used a Euclidian distance-based approach following [147] , to examine the impact of dominant land use on presence of den-sites within an 800 meter diameter circular area. When compared to the classification-based approach, the distance based approach has advantages in detecting the importance of edges, and flexibility in using polygons, linear data, and point features in the analysis [162] . ...
... The obtainability and quality of resources influences the size of animal home range [186] , such that, in canids for example, a home range in a resource-rich area may be smaller than in a resource-poor area (e.g., 0.4 km2 and > 40 km2 respectively, Macdonald, 2004). Furthermore, den selection is influenced by prey availability in the corsac fox (Vulpes corsac, [187] , the Eurasian badger (Meles meles) and the Red fox [151] However, Foxes prey on hares [185] , and utilize dens for birthing and rearing offspring ('breeding dens') and as resting sites outside the breeding periods ('non-breeding dens' , [153] . ...
Thesis
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The nocturnal activities of animals are influenced by the brightness of the moon in different moon phases. Further, behaviour of prey animals, and also density, may fluctuate in response to predators through both lethal effects and non-lethal (fear) effects. As we understand, wildlife may experience fear from a range of predators, including large carnivores, mesopredators, domestic dogs and humans, the latter being regarded as a super predator. In such landscapes with the occurrence of predators, the prey is likely to be more alert in order to lower the danger of being killed. Further, flight response is an appropriate, recognised and measurable indicator (as flight initiation distance, FID) of fear effects in terrestrial animals. In this research, our specific aims were: 1) to investigate the effects of moonlight on activity patterns and the interactions between a large carnivore (North China leopard Panthera pardus japonensis) and their prey; 2) to analyse the den-site selection by the mesopredator, red fox (Vulpes vulpes montana) at multiple scales in a patchy human-dominated landscape; 3) to describe the habitat factors and predator density effects on the spatial abundance of cape hare (Lepus capensis) distribution; 4) to explore the increased FID in golden marmots (Marmota caudata aurea) in response to domestic dogs, and; 5) to understand how the occurrence of conspecifics in the neighboring space may influence FID in cape hare under the effect of human disturbance. These collective works contributed to the understanding of fear ecology and their implications for predator-prey interactions in China and Pakistan. We used camera-traps to investigate the first aim; for the remaining four objectives, we laid out transect lines in different habitats to explore how the fear effects stimulated by humans and predators influence other mammals. A total of 102 camera locations operated between March 2017-May 2019 and circadian activities of each species was analyzed by using temporalniche overlap model, as well as Generalized Linear Mixed Effects Model (GLMM) to link habitat structures with leopards and prey species. We derived Resource Selection Functions (RSFs) to predict the potential distribution of red fox dens at three spatial scales. We used the standard line transect distance sampling method to calculate the seasonal density of hare and comparative density of red fox. A traditional live-trapping protocol was used to capture a sample of golden marmots at the four colonies. Lastly, we used human stimuli at the start of each sampling period for the cape hare investigation to link with disturbances and flight response. The main results of this study are the following: (1) North China leopard exhibited an irregular activity pattern, wild boar (Sus scrofa) indicated lunar phobic behaviour and avoided leopard, and roe deer (Capreolus pygargus) were lunar philic. Tolai hare (Lepus tolai) showed lunar phobic behavior. The nocturnal activities of leopards, roe deer and tolai hare were positively related. The occurrence of leopard day vs. night activity during four different lunar phases were exhibited a preference with distance to deciduous forest and secondary roads, while avoided to lower elevations. Roe deer showed a preference to secondary roads. Wild boar displayed avoidance of intermediate elevation. Tolai hare indicated preference to grassland. Further, cloud cover, moonlight risk index (MRI), humans and season had diverse effects on leopard and prey interactions. (2) We found that for red fox den occurrence, elevation was the most significant covariate at landscapes scale, and distance to forest had negative effect; at patch scale, distance to forests were negatively correlated with number of dens and positively linked to shrubs. Furthermore, at microhabitat scale, den occurrence was negatively linked with hiding cover and positively associated with tree density and anthropogenic features – den occurrence was negatively related with distance to roads and positively correlated with Indian pika (Ochotona roylei)burrow existence. We found that den entrance dimensions were larger for natal dens than resting dens. (3) We identified that, the population density of hare was highest in bare areas and the lowest in mixed plantations. In summer, we found a positive correlation between hare and red fox density in a bare area, and in winter, in shrubs land. The relative density of red fox was lowest in subalpine habitat. We found that hare pellet indices were positively connected with indices of herbs in plantation forest, shrubs in mixed forest, trees in two selected habitat sites, and negatively linked to cultivated land, roads, and rivers in mixed and streams in bare areas. (4) We measured FID in 72 Golden marmots from four colonies in the Karakoram Range, Pakistan. We found that the domestic dog (Canis familiaris) caused greater FID than pedestrian alone, and adult marmots nearer to roads showed greater FID. However, marmot age and colony substrate had more marked influences on FID, which was also greater at lower elevations where there were clusters of human settlements and livestock pastures. (5) Our results showed that foraging hares have smaller FIDs than vigilant ones. Social animals reduced FID of the focal hare due to a mutual vigilance, while a solitary animal had greater FID due to less cooperative defense for predator detection. This research has demonstrated that fear effects exist in human-dominated landscapes, and that environmental factors can drive temporal activities of predator-prey interactions which are linked with lunar phase. It also showed that human disturbances, such as domestic dogs, influenced the core activity zones of burrowing herbivores. The studies also show the scale of fear and provide a superior chance to recognize the biological significance of fear ecology and its application for future wildlife conservation in human-dominated landscapes.
... Because of their opportunistic dietary habits (Lanszki et al. 2015;Ćirović et al. 2016), golden jackals may be subject to a high mortality risk as a consequence of their scavenging behaviour (e.g., individuals feeding on carcasses close to roads) (Mohammadi et al. 2018). Furthermore, in India, dogs and golden jackals are among the most common mammalian victims on rural roads, with an increasing incidence during the breeding season (Sillero-Zubiri et al. 2004), likely due to their significant dispersal capabilities toward new breeding areas (Lanszki et al. 2018). In conclusion, when put together, this evidence (i.e., the current golden jackal range expansion, its feeding behaviour and dispersal capabilities) draw attention to the exposure of the species to roadkill mortality. ...
... Golden jackals can colonize a wide range of natural and/or seminatural habitats, including human-dominated agricultural landscapes (Šálek et al. 2013). In accordance with the species' distribution in Europe, it is mainly associated with shrub vegetation and a mosaic of agricultural landscapes and lowland wetlands (Giannatos 2004;Sillero-Zubiri et al. 2004). Furthermore, dense shrub vegetation is considered as an important habitat for golden jackals, because of the resource availability it represents, including both prey availability and denning sites, as well as refuge shelters (Giannatos 2004). ...
Article
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Context Anthropogenic structures have considerable effects on ecosystems, disrupting natural population processes and representing a serious risk in terms of vehicle collisions. The golden jackal (Canis aureus) is a mesocarnivore species whose range is expanding in Europe. Roadkills are one of the main human-induced mortalities in Italy to the species. Objectives Identify road-related characteristics and ecological factors related to golden jackal roadkill risk in Italy. Methods We used habitat suitability (Maxent) and connectivity (Circuit theory) models to derive 15 metrics potentially affecting roadkill risk. We tested their influence using Bayesian generalized linear models and generalized linear models comparing golden jackal roadkill locations to random locations. Furthermore, we tested if there were significant sex, age-related and seasonal differences among road-killed individuals. Results We found that roadkill risk was higher in areas characterized by higher values of habitat suitability and connectivity, habitat fragmentation and along highways. It was lower with increasing distance to the source population and in the presence of guardrails. No significant differences were detected in terms of roadkill risk between sexes, age classes and season Conclusions The identified factors affecting road mortality of golden jackals in Italy provide insights on how to mitigate wildlife-vehicle collisions. Crossing areas, and visual and acoustic warnings for wildlife, as well as the importance of managing fences along high traffic volume roads could help mitigate further damage. Finally, there is a need to further investigate the effectiveness of mitigation measures in the light of the golden jackal’s ongoing expansion in a human-modified landscape.
... The Cerdocyon thous (Linnaeus, 1766) is a medium-sized nocturnal carnivore (3-8 kg) belonging to the family Canidae that is widely distributed over the Neotropical Region of the Americas (Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Surinam, French Guiana, Paraguay, Uruguay, northern Argentina and the greater part of Brazil) [34]. It is a generalist mammalian species associated with anthropized environments which is tolerant to modified habitats and due to its omnivorous diet and adaptability to modified environments, it can frequently be in close contact to humans [35,36]. ...
Research
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Simple Summary: Canine distemper virus (CDV) is the etiological agent of a highly frequent viral disease of domestic and wild carnivores. It poses a threat for the conservation of endangered species. Our aim was to assess the presence and phylogenetic characterization of CDV from naturally infected Crab-eating Fox (Cerdocyon thous) from Colombia. We confirm for the first time the circulation of CDV South America/North America-4 Lineage in Crab-eating Fox. Our results are crucial for the understanding of the interspecies transmission of CDV in the domestic/wild interface and for the prevention and control of such an important multi-host pathogen. Abstract: Canine distemper virus (CDV) is the etiological agent of a highly prevalent viral infectious disease of domestic and wild carnivores. This virus poses a conservation threat to endangered species worldwide due to its ability to jump between multiple species and produce a disease, which is most often fatal. Although CDV infection has been regularly diagnosed in Colombian wildlife, to date the molecular identity of circulating CDV lineages is currently unknown. Our aim was to evaluate the presence and phylogenetic characterization of CDV detected in samples from naturally infected Cerdocyon thous from Colombia. We sequenced for the first time the CDV infecting wildlife in Colombia and demonstrated the presence of South America/North America-4 Lineage with a higher relationship to sequences previously reported from domestic and wild fauna belonging to the United States of America. Our results are crucial for the understanding of the interspecies transmission of CDV in the domestic/wild interface and for the prevention and control of such an important multi-host pathogen.
... ferrilata), and red foxes (V. vulpes montana; Sillero-Zubiri et al. 2004). Of these, the Indian fox is endemic to the Indian subcontinent, but little is known about its ecological significance and population status. ...
Article
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First photographic evidence of Indian Fox from the Shivalik Region of Uttar Pradesh (in Shivalik FD which shares its boundary with Uttarakhand)
... Grey wolf and golden jackal, both are two of the most widely distributed carnivores globally and in Iran [36][37][38][39][40][41]. Generalist diet and plasticity in habitat selection has enabled these canids to occur across a wide range of habitats including human dominated landscapes [9,41,42] However, following reductions in prey species density in Iranian Conservation Areas (Cas) [43], the occurrence of these species in rural regions, where they may get food from pastoral sources, such as livestock, has increased over the last several decades [44][45][46]. ...
Article
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Central Iran supports a diversity of carnivores, most of which are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation. Carnivore conservation requires the identification and preservation of core habitats and ensuring connectivity between them. In the present study, we used species distribution modeling to predict habitat suitability and connectivity modeling to predict linkage (resistant kernel and factorial least-cost path analyses) for grey wolf and golden jackal in central Iran. For grey wolf, elevation, topographic ruggedness, and distance to Conservation Areas (CAs) were the strongest predictors; for golden jackal, distance to human settlements, dump sites and topographic ruggedness were the most influential variables in predicting the occurrence of this species. Our results also indicated a high potential for large parts of the landscape to support the occurrence of these two canid species. The largest and the most crucial core habitats and corridor paths for the conservation of both species are located in the southern part of the study landscape. We found a small overlap between golden jackal corridor paths and core habitats with CAs, which has important implications for conservation and future viability of the golden jackal populations. Some sections of core areas are bisected by roads, where most vehicle collisions with grey wolf and golden jackal occurred. To minimize mortality risk, we propose that successful conservation of both species will necessitate integrated landscape-level management, as well as conservation of core areas and corridors and development of mitigation strategies to reduce vehicle collisions.
Article
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The hookworm Ancylostoma caninum is a common nematode of wild and domestic canids worldwide. In Mexico, there are few records of helminths in wild canids, especially in the southeastern region. The aim of the present study was to examine the helminths from a gray fox Urocyon cinereoargenteus in southeastern Mexico. A road-killed female gray fox found in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, was examined for helminths. Only nematodes were found in the intestine of the gray fox and identified using morphological studies and molecular analysis of 28S rRNA gene fragments. The characteristics exhibited by the nematode specimens were in accordance with descriptions of A. caninum : e. g. oral opening with a pair of prominent chitinous plates bearing three pairs of ventral teeth, lateral rays with a common trunk, dorsal ray divided into two branches with each branch terminating in three digitations. BLAST analysis of the 28S sequence showed similarity and coverage values of 99.8 % and 100 %, respectively, with a sequence of A. caninum from the domestic dog Canis familiaris in Australia. The genetic distance between the Australian specimen and the Yucatan specimen of A. caninum was 0.1 %, that is, they were only different in a single nucleotide. The gray fox examined in this study was found close to a rural community where A. caninum has been recorded from domestic dogs, which could be the source of infection. Our study increases the distribution of this nematode parasitizing the gray fox in Mexico and provides the first nucleotide sequence of A. caninum from the gray fox.
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Planting forests is a commonly suggested measure to mitigate climate change. The resulting changes in habitat structure can greatly influence the diversity and abundance of pre‐existing wildlife. Understanding these consequences is key for avoiding unintended impacts of afforestation on habitats and populations of conservation concern. Afforestation in lowland Iceland has been gaining momentum in recent years and further increases are planned. Iceland supports internationally important breeding populations of several ground‐nesting, migratory bird species that mostly breed in open habitats. If afforestation impacts the distribution and abundance of these species, the consequences may be apparent throughout their non‐breeding ranges across Europe and Africa. To quantify the effects of plantation forests on the abundance and distribution of ground‐nesting birds (in particular waders, Charadriiformes), surveys were conducted on 161 transects (surrounding 118 plantations) perpendicular to forest edges throughout Iceland. The resulting variation in density with distance from plantation was used to estimate the likely changes in bird numbers resulting from future afforestation plans, and to explore the potential effects of different planting configuration (size and number of forest patches) scenarios. Of seven wader species, densities of five (golden plover (Pluvialis apricaria), whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus), oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus), dunlin (Calidris alpina) and black‐tailed godwit (Limosa limosa)) in the 200 m surrounding plantations were just over half of those further away (up to 700 m). Redshank (Tringa totanus) densities were lowest ≤150 m from the plantation edge while snipe (Gallinago gallinago) densities were 50% higher close to plantations (0‐50 m) than further away (51‐700 m), and no consistent effects of plantation height, diameter, density or type were identified. Plantations are typically small and widespread, and simulated scenarios indicated that total declines in bird abundance resulting from planting trees in one large block (1000 ha) could result in only ~11% of the declines predicted from planting multiple small blocks (1 ha) in similar habitats. Synthesis and application: Planting forests in open landscapes can have severe impacts on populations of ground‐nesting birds, which emphasises the need for strategic planning of tree‐planting schemes. Given Iceland’s statutory commitments to species protection and the huge contribution of Iceland to global migratory bird flyways, these are challenges that must be addressed quickly, before population‐level impacts are observed across migratory ranges.
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African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) are obligate cooperative breeders and are generally considered mono-oestrus. As such, the birth of two litters within the same year rarely occurs, except for when pups from the initial litter are lost soon after birth. We report on a rare occurrence where a wild dog female (Vee) produced three litters of pups within a 13-month, 2-week period from March 2015 to June 2016, with surviving pups from each litter. Data on breeding females from wild dog packs in the study area (Savé Valley Conservancy, Zimbabwe) were used to identify whether any predictor variables (e.g. environmental or pack dynamics) could have influenced this unusual occurrence. The period over which the high number of litters were born had high prey densities and there was some evidence that it was associated with lower temperatures. High impala (Aepyceros melampus) densities during 2015 was likely to have been advantageous for the packs’ hunting behaviours, while lower temperatures have been shown to increase the percentage of the day that is cool enough for wild dogs to hunt. Pack size during this period was higher in the pack that produced multiple litters (by the same female) than for other packs in the study site, which supports existing evidence that larger packs are able to produce more pups. Our results suggest that either 1) under ideal environmental and social conditions African wild dog females are capable of producing multiple litters throughout the year or that 2) this occurrence was an anomaly unique to Vee and her physiology.
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In mammalian terrestrial carnivore communities, larger-sized species typically dominate smaller species in intraguild competitions. Consequently, smaller species modify their ecological niches to separate from larger competitors, enabling successful sympatry. The golden jackal (Canis aureus) is a meso-canid that ranges across Eurasia and often co-occurs with the smaller red fox (Vulpes vulpes). Potential trophic niche overlaps suggest that resource partitioning occurs among these sympatric canids. I undertook a review of the patterns in niche overlap/partitioning of food, space and time observed between the golden jackal and sympatric red fox and discuss the impacts of human interventions on their dynamics. I compiled eleven studies reporting overlap indices (eight trophic, two spatio-temporal and one spatial) as well as four additional studies reporting spatio-temporal activities without any indices. Highly trophic overlaps between golden jackal and sympatric red fox were observed when they mainly preyed upon rodents. The trophic overlaps were observed in agriculturally dominated landscapes, due to high availability of rodent preys. Conversely, resource subsidies to golden jackals via human activities (e.g. livestock or hunting carcasses) trophically separated them from rodentivorous red foxes. In human-modified landscapes, the temporal niches overlapped as both canids exhibited nocturnal activities, while fine-scale spatial separation was observed, preventing agonistic encounters. This review found that due to their high trophic overlaps, spatio-temporal partitioning between golden jackals and red foxes might be key to their sympatry. Further research integrating three niche dimensions (food, space and time) as well as a community-wide approach will facilitate a better understanding of their competitive interactions and the development of conservation planning.
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A canid dentary is described from the Pliocene Glenns Ferry Formation at Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument, south-central Idaho, USA. The specimen possesses traits in alliance with and measurements falling within or exceeding those of Canis lepophagus . The dentary, along with a tarsal IV (cuboid) and an exploded canine come from the base of the fossiliferous Sahara complex within the monument. Improved geochronologic control provided by new tephrochronologic mapping by the U.S. Geological Survey-National Park Service Hagerman Paleontology, Environments, and Tephrochronology Project supports an interpolated age of approximately 3.9 Ma, placing it in the early Blancan North American Land Mammal Age. It is conservatively referred to herein as Canis aff. C . lepophagus with the caveat that it is an early and robust example of that species. A smaller canid, initially assigned to Canis lepophagus and then to Canis ferox , is also known from Hagerman. Most specimens of Canis ferox , including the holotype, were recently reassigned to Eucyon ferox , but specimens from the Hagerman and Rexroad faunas were left as Canis sp. and possibly attributed to C . lepophagus. We agree that these smaller canids belong in Canis and not Eucyon but reject placing them within C . lepophagus ; we refer to them here as Hagerman-Rexroad Canis . This study confirms the presence of two approximately coyote-sized canids at Hagerman and adds to the growing list of carnivorans now known from these fossil beds.
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