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Golden jackal expansion in Europe: a case of mesopredator release triggered by continent-wide wolf persecution?

Krofel, Miha, Giannatos, Giorgos, Ćirovič, Duško, Stoyanov, Stoyan and Newsome, Thomas M. 2017, Golden jackal expansion in Europe: a case of mesopredator release triggered by continent-wide wolf persecution?, Hystrix: Italian journal of mammalogy, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 9-15, doi: 10.4404/hystrix-28.1-11819.

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Title Golden jackal expansion in Europe: a case of mesopredator release triggered by continent-wide wolf persecution?
Author(s) Krofel, Miha
Giannatos, Giorgos
Ćirovič, Duško
Stoyanov, Stoyan
Newsome, Thomas M.ORCID iD for Newsome, Thomas M. orcid.org/0000-0003-3457-3256
Journal name Hystrix: Italian journal of mammalogy
Volume number 28
Issue number 1
Start page 9
End page 15
Total pages 7
Publisher Associazione Teriologica Romana
Place of publication Pavia, Italy
Publication date 2017
ISSN 0394-1914
1825-5272
Keyword(s) apex predator
interference competition
mesopredator release
trophic cascades
human-dominated landscapes
Canis aureus
Canis lupus
Summary Top-down suppression by apex predators can limit the abundance and spatial distribution of mesopredators. However, this phenomenon has not been studied over long time periods in human-dominated landscapes, where the strength of this process might be limited. Here, we used a multi-scale approach to analyse interactions between two canids in the human-dominated landscapes of Europe. We tested the hypothesis that the range expansion of golden jackals (Canis aureus) was triggered by intensive persecution and resulting decline of the apex predator, the grey wolf (Canis lupus). To do so, we (1) reviewed literature to reconstruct the historic changes in the distribution and abundance of the two canid species on the continental scale, (2) analysed hunting data patterns for both species in Bulgaria and Serbia, and (3) surveyed jackal persistence in eight study areas that became re-colonized by territorial wolves. The observed trends were generally consistent with the predictions of the mesopredator release hypothesis and supported the existence of top-down suppression by wolves on jackals. We observed inverse patterns of relative abundance and distribution for both canid species at various spatial scales. In most (seven out of eight) cases of wolf re-colonization of jackal territories, jackals disappeared or were displaced out or to the periphery of the newly established wolf home-ranges. We suggest that wolf extermination could be the key driver that enabled the expansion of jackals throughout Europe. Our results also indicate that top-down suppression may be weakened where wolves are intensively persecuted by humans or occur at reduced densities in human-dominated landscapes, which has important management implications and warrants further research.
Language eng
DOI 10.4404/hystrix-28.1-11819
Field of Research 060899 Zoology not elsewhere classified
060201 Behavioural Ecology
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2017, Associazione Teriologica Italiana
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution non-commercial licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30098989

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.