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Torriglia, Italy

Torretta E.,University of Pavia | Serafini M.,Antola Regional Park | Puopolo F.,Antola Regional Park | Schenone L.,Antola Regional Park
Acta Ethologica

We investigated the seasonal spatial and temporal co-occurrence of three carnivore species in Liguria region (NW Italy)—the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), the European badger (Meles meles) and the wolf (Canis lupus)—using the information provided by camera-trapping monitoring. Data were collected from January 2013 to January 2015 by positioning camera traps in 200 sample stations. During 3479 trap days, we collected 1048 independent videos of target carnivore species, which revealed a general spatial coexistence among carnivores with some differences in seasonal occurrence of species. The red fox and the European badger showed temporal segregation, as their activity patterns suggested a differential use of night-time in all seasons. Activity patterns of the red fox and the wolf revealed moderate-high overlap and similar density distributions in all seasons except during winter. Coexistence between these species may be allowed by temporal segregation during winter and spatial segregation during spring. Finally, results regarding the European badger and the wolf suggest a moderate temporal segregation with a marked avoidance effect for the European badger induced by the presence of tracks left by wolves. Programmes aimed at carnivore conservation, and management should treat the entire guild, as it has been demonstrated that populations of different carnivores interact with each other in complex ways and that fine-scale mechanisms regulating carnivore assemblage influence different aspects of natural communities. © 2015 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg and ISPA Source

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