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Author Imbert, C.; Caniglia, R.; Fabbri, E.; Milanesi, P.; Randi, E.; Serafini, M.; Torretta, E.; Meriggi, A. url  doi
  Title Why do wolves eat livestock?: Factors influencing wolf diet in northern Italy Type Journal Article
  Year 2016 Publication Biological Conservation Abbreviated Journal  
  Volume 195 Issue Pages 156-168  
  Keywords Scat analysis; Feeding ecology; Prey selection; Wolf-human conflicts  
  Abstract Thanks to protection by law and increasing habitat restoration, wolves (Canis lupus) are currently re-colonizing Europe from the surviving populations of Russia, the Balkan countries, Spain and Italy, raising the need to update conservation strategies. A major conservation issue is to restore connections and gene flow among fragmented populations, thus contrasting the deleterious consequences of isolation. Wolves in Italy are expanding from the Apennines towards the Alps, crossing the Ligurian Mountains (northern Italy) and establishing connections with the Dinaric populations. Wolf expansion is threatened by poaching and incidental killings, mainly due to livestock depredations and conflicts with shepherds, which could limit the establishment of stable populations. Aiming to find out the factors affecting the use of livestock by wolves, in this study we determined the composition of wolf diet in Liguria. We examined 1457 scats collected from 2008 to 2013. Individual scats were genotyped using a non-invasive genetic procedure, and their content was determined using microscopical analyses. Wolves in Liguria consumed mainly wild ungulates (64.4%; in particular wild boar Sus scrofa and roe deer Capreolus capreolus) and, to a lesser extent, livestock (26.3%; in particular goats Capra hircus). We modeled the consumption of livestock using environmental features, wild ungulate community diversity, husbandry characteristics and wolf social organization (stable packs or dispersing individuals). Wolf diet varied according to years and seasons with an overall decrease of livestock and an increase of wild ungulate consumption, but also between packs and dispersing individuals with greater livestock consumption for the latter. The presence of stable packs, instead of dispersing wolves, the adoption of prevention measures on pastures, roe deer abundance, and the percentage of deciduous woods, reduced predation on livestock. Thus, we suggest promoting wild ungulate expansion, the use of prevention tools in pastures, and supporting wolf pack establishment, avoiding lethal control and poaching, to mitigate conflicts between wolf conservation and husbandry.  
  Corporate Author Thesis  
  Publisher Place of Publication Editor  
  Language Summary Language Original Title  
  Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title  
  Series Volume Series Issue Edition  
  ISSN 0006-3207 ISBN Medium  
  Area Expedition Conference  
  Notes Approved no  
  Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Serial 6621  
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