Capitani, Claudia and Bertelli, Ivo and Varuzza, P. and Scandura, Massimo (2004) A comparative analysis of wolf (Canis lupus) diet in three different Italian ecosystems. Mammalian Biology, Vol. 69 (1), p. 1-10. ISSN 1616-5047. Article.
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To verify food habit flexibility of wolf populations under different ecological conditions, scats collected year round were analysed in three study areas and diet composition of resident packs was compared. The three study areas, representing Alpine (SV), Apennine (PM) and Mediterranean (CV) ecosystems, are rich in wild ungulates, which differ in number of species and relative abundance; livestock is also present. Wild ungulates were the main source of food, accounting for 89.4%–95.1% of the diet. Livestock, instead, scarsely reached 8% of annual mean percent volume in any one area, and only in the Alps did they play a major role in autumn. Other food items constituted less than 5% of annual mean percent volume. Variations in the proportions of use of wild ungulate categories were observed among the study areas, although some patterns of intraspecific selection emerged in each area. Finally, differences both in the relationships between utilisation and availability of preys, and in trophic niche breadth were discussed in relation to environmental features and colonization patterns.
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