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Northern and Southern European grey wolf (Canis lupus) prey choice, role as the Keystone species in a scavenger community and activity pattern

Ståhlberg, Sophie (2014) Northern and Southern European grey wolf (Canis lupus) prey choice, role as the Keystone species in a scavenger community and activity pattern. Doctoral Thesis.

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Abstract

Grey wolf is an elusive predator, highly adaptable and capable of adjusting to different ecological conditions.
I studied prey choice of wolf in Scandinavia and Tuscany and looked at variances between territories within the two study areas. I used analysis of scats collected during a period of nine year in Scandinavia and four years in Tuscany.
I found greater habitat heterogeneity in Tuscany which leads to a more complex predator-prey structure. In Scandinavia seasonal prey type choice was more dynamic; reasons may be related to the fact that highly exploited forestry industry in Sweden disabled rich ecological diversity. The Tuscan Apennines has been depopulated as abandoned agriculture allows re-forestation and ungulate species abundance to increase.
I did a movement triggered camera study of the scavenger guild in wolf territories feeding on carcasses and analysed 24 h and seasonal activity patterns. I also looked at anti-predator behavior in intra-guild members using these feeding sites. I discovered in both the diet and the camera studies that there was no avian prey in the wolf diet, nor avian scavengers at the carcass sites in Tuscany.
There is a trade-off between time spent feeding and anti-predator behavior. I quantified the level of vigilance in scavenger species and compared safety investment by vigilance behavior in Tuscan and Swedish scavengers, specifically red fox and marten. I found that martens in Tuscany feed more and invests less in anti-predator behavior.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis
ID Code:9507
Contributors:Apollonio, Marco
Publisher:Università degli studi di Sassari
Uncontrolled Keywords:Canis lupus, prey selection, scavenger guild
Subjects:Area 05 - Scienze biologiche > BIO/05 Zoologia
Divisions:001 Università di Sassari > 01-a Nuovi Dipartimenti dal 2012 > Scienze della Natura e del Territorio
Cicli, scuole e corsi:Ciclo 25 > Scuole > Scienze della natura e delle sue risorse > Biologia ambientale
Deposited On:03 Apr 2014 09:26

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