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Queirolo D.,University of the Republic of Uruguay | Soler L.,National University of the South | Emmons L.H.,Smithsonian Institution | Rodrigues F.H.G.,Federal University of Minas Gerais | And 3 more authors.
ORYX | Year: 2011

The Near Threatened maned wolf Chrysocyon brachyurus is a South American endemic canid occurring mainly in grassland-dominated regions. We compiled and mapped recent and historical data to compare the species- present and historical distributions and propose hypotheses for range shifts. There has been recent range expansion in eastern Brazil associated with the deforestation of the Atlantic Forest and conversion of habitat to grasslands for cattle range. The northern, north-eastern and eastern sectors of the species- range have not yet experienced significant modifications, and the species persists in central Brazil, northern and eastern Bolivia, and south-eastern Peru. The largest range contractions have occurred at the species- southern limits but maned wolves are still present in north-eastern, central and eastern Argentina, and there are a few records of the species' occurence from Uruguay and north-eastern and southern Rio Grande do Sul, southern Brazil. Historically the species occupied nearly all of Rio Grande do Sul, Uruguay and south to at least the 38th parallel in Argentina. The probable causes of the southern range loss are intense anthropogenic pressure combined with limiting abiotic factors such as temperature and humidity. We highlight the need to revise the view of how habitat modifications are influencing the range of C. brachyurus so as to improve and coordinate range-wide conservation strategies. © 2011 Fauna & Flora International.

Bartolommei P.,Istituto di Ecologia Applicata | Bonesi L.,University of Cambridge | Guj I.,Regional Park of Simbruini Mountains | Monaco A.,Regional Parks Agency ARP Lazio Region | And 3 more authors.
Italian Journal of Zoology | Year: 2013

Identifying and mapping new sites of establishment of alien species is a research priority as it helps to provide timely management actions. In Italy, feral populations of the American mink Neovison vison, a semi-aquatic mustelid native to North America, have been present since the 1980s in the north of the country and on the island of Sardinia. Recently, mink sightings were reported also in central Italy, in the Lazio region. However, no information existed on the consistency and distribution of this population. The aims of this study were to (1) assess the presence and distribution of the American mink in the Lazio region, (2) identify the possible sources of individuals and (3) provide a evaluation of the efficacy of the different techniques adopted. Data on the distribution of the American mink were obtained during 2008 by gathering bibliographical data, by interviewing the stakeholders, and by carrying out field surveys using camera traps, hair tubes, floating rafts and surveying for signs of presence. Floating rafts proved to be the most successful field method amongst the ones adopted in this study. We recorded the American mink at several sites within the Aniene River catchment and its presence seemed restricted only to this catchment within the Lazio region. We found 12 mink farms in the Lazio region, one of which is still active; occasional escapes or liberations have taken place in 11 of these farms. Given the presence of mink farms and the restricted distribution of the feral mink population in the Lazio region, there are at least two management actions that should be undertaken rapidly: (1) minimising escapes from the remaining mink farm through actions with the farmer and the regional authorities; (2) implementing an eradication program for the Aniene population. © 2013 Copyright 2013 Unione Zoologica Italiana.

Marino A.,Istituto di Ecologia Applicata | Braschi C.,Istituto di Ecologia Applicata | Ricci S.,Istituto di Ecologia Applicata | Salvatori V.,Istituto di Ecologia Applicata | Ciucci P.,University of Rome La Sapienza
European Journal of Wildlife Research | Year: 2016

Range expansion by large carnivores in semi-agricultural landscapes represents a serious challenge for managing human-carnivore conflicts. By focusing on an area of recent re-colonization by wolves in central Italy, where livestock owners lost traditional husbandry practices to cope with wolves, we assessed an ex post and a subsequent insurance-based compensation program implemented from 1999 to 2013. We cross checked official depredation statistics and compensation records from various registries, complementing them with a questionnaire survey of sheep owners. Compared to ex post compensation (1999–2005), under the insurance program (2006–2013) compensation paid annually dropped on average by 81.1 %, mostly reflecting that only 4.6 (±0.7 SD) % of sheep owners stipulated the insurance annually. Officially, only 5.5 % of active sheep owners were annually afflicted by wolf depredation during the insurance scheme, but we estimated this proportion to be as high as 34.3 % accounting for the proportion of affected sheep owners who did not officially claim depredations. Coupled with substantial retaliatory killing (minimum of five wolves killed/year), this large amount of cryptic conflict is a symptom of distrust by livestock owners of past and current conflict mitigation policies, despite more than two decades of compensation. We conclude that compensation may fail to improve tolerance toward carnivores unless it is integrated into participatory processes and that lack of reliable data on depredations and damage mitigation strategies exacerbates the conflict. Being advocates of the evidence-based paradigm in management, scientists share a key responsibility in providing objective data concerning progress of conflict management. © 2016 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

Salvatori V.,Istituto di Ecologia Applicata | Mertens A.D.,Istituto di Ecologia Applicata
Hystrix | Year: 2012

Management of damage caused by wolf to domestic livestock is a crucial measure that must be part of an integrated management strategy. Despite the existence of responsible authorities for tackling such aspects, resources are often insufficient for addressing the complex issues. LIFE Nature projects represent a valid tool for the implementation of measures for wolf conservation as the species is included in the Annexes of the Habitat Directive as a priority species. In the last ten years, over 30 LIFE Nature projects targeting wolf conservation were financed by the EU. Measures adopted in the projects were largely consistent and coherent with the Action plan for the Conservation of Wolf in Europe published by the Council of Europe in 2000. The LIFE COEX project was implemented in Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and Croatia from 2004 to 2008, and represented an excellent example of international collaboration and amplification of knowledge and experiences of management measures adopted at different levels. Adapted to local conditions, the measures implemented achieved extremely positive results, particularly in areas where wolves are expanding. As an example, after installation of electric fences, the damage suffered by holdings from wolf attacks decreased by 100% in Portugal, 99% in Spain and 58% in Italy. In France and Croatia measures were adopted for intersectoral involvement (tourism and agriculture), which have contributed to the development of a participatory approach for wolf management. The experiences acquired during the COEX project are in the process of being transferred to other places through the implementation of the LIFE EXTRA and LIFE WOLFNET projects. The former involves Italy, Bulgaria, Greece and Romania, while the latter is implemented in three national parks in Italy. The results obtained are encouraging and future LIFE Nature Projects should capitalise on the experiences done, making use of studies and researches that will allow the maximisation of efficacy of adopted management measures. ©2012 Associazione Teriologica Italiana.

Chapron G.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Kaczensky P.,University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna | Linnell J.D.C.,Norwegian Institute for Nature Research | Von Arx M.,KORA | And 76 more authors.
Science | Year: 2014

The conservation of large carnivores is a formidable challenge for biodiversity conservation. Using a data set on the past and current status of brown bears (Ursus arctos), Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), gray wolves (Canis lupus), and wolverines (Gulo gulo) in European countries, we show that roughly one-third of mainland Europe hosts at least one large carnivore species, with stable or increasing abundance in most cases in 21st-century records. The reasons for this overall conservation success include protective legislation, supportive public opinion, and a variety of practices making coexistence between large carnivores and people possible. The European situation reveals that large carnivores and people can share the same landscape.

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