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Predation by wolves (Canis lupus) on roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) in north-eastern Apennine, Italy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 October 2004

L. Mattioli
Affiliation:
Provincia d'Arezzo, Ufficio Piano Faunistico, Piazza della Liberta 3, 52100 Arezzo, Italy
C. Capitani
Affiliation:
Università di Sassari, Dipartimento di Zoologia, Via Muroni 25, 07100 Sassari, Italy
E. Avanzinelli
Affiliation:
Università di Sassari, Dipartimento di Zoologia, Via Muroni 25, 07100 Sassari, Italy
I. Bertelli
Affiliation:
Università di Sassari, Dipartimento di Zoologia, Via Muroni 25, 07100 Sassari, Italy
A. Gazzola
Affiliation:
Università di Sassari, Dipartimento di Zoologia, Via Muroni 25, 07100 Sassari, Italy
M. Apollonio
Affiliation:
Università di Sassari, Dipartimento di Zoologia, Via Muroni 25, 07100 Sassari, Italy
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Abstract

Predation by wolves Canis lupus on roe deer Capreolus capreolus was studied by scat analysis in five areas of the Province of Arezzo, north-eastern Tuscany, Italy. In the intensive study area (ISA) roe deer represented 19.1% of mean per cent volume (MPV) while in the other areas its use ranged between 10.9% and 53.4% of MPV. A low degree of variation was found in both annual and seasonal use of roe deer, although seasonal differences were more marked in those areas where roe deer use was lower. In ISA, roe deer was negatively selected among species: the Ivlev's electivity index ranged between −0.41 and −0.89. Analysing intra-specific selection, in ISA <1-year-old individuals were preferred by wolves, mainly during the fawns' first months of life. This trend was confirmed in the other areas, where fawns represented more than 50% of the relative number of roe deer prey. In ISA, the use of roe deer (as MPV) was not correlated with its density or with that of the main prey, wild boar, and in almost all the other areas no relation between use and density of roe deer was founded. However, in the one area where both roe deer density and use were the highest, these two variables seemed to exhibit a comparable trend. The use of roe deer was negatively correlated with the percentage of forest cover among all the study areas.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
2004 The Zoological Society of London

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Predation by wolves (Canis lupus) on roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) in north-eastern Apennine, Italy
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