Navigation Links
Italian wolves prefer pork to venison
Date:12/20/2012

Some European wolves have a distinct preference for wild boar over other prey, according to new research.

Scientists from Durham University, UK, in collaboration with the University of Sassari in Italy, found that the diet of wolves was consistently dominated by the consumption of wild boar which accounted for about two thirds of total prey biomass, with roe deer accounting for around a third.

The study analysed the remains of prey items in almost 2000 samples of wolf dung over a nine year period and revealed that an increase in roe deer in the wolf diet only occurred in years when boar densities were very low. In years of high roe deer densities, the wolves still preferred to catch wild boar.

The results are published in the journal PLOS ONE.

The research team related the prey remains in wolf dung to the availability of possible prey in part of Tuscany, Italy - an area recently colonised by wolves. The findings have implications for wildlife conservation as the impact of changing predator numbers on prey species is important for managing populations of both predators and prey.

Lead author, Miranda Davis, from the School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Durham University, said: "Our research demonstrates a consistent selection for wild boar among wolves in the study area, which could affect other prey species such as roe deer."

"Intriguingly, in other parts of Europe where red deer are also available, wolves appear to prefer this prey to wild boar, suggesting that they discriminate between different types of venison."

In Europe, the wolf (Canis lupis) is recovering from centuries of persecution and the expansion of wolf populations has the potential to change the ecology of communities of ungulates (hooved animals) by exposing them to natural predation by wolves, according to the researchers.

The preference for boar is in contrast to other areas of Europe where wolves often avoid boar as prey. One factor may be the relatively smaller size of Mediterranean boar, making them less dangerous to wolves in Mediterranean regions, compared to the larger-sized boar that roam other parts of Europe.

Co-author, Dr Stephen Willis, from the School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Durham University, said: "Wolves were hunted to extinction in the UK, probably by the end of the 17th century. Our findings from Italy suggest that if they were reintroduced into an area with a healthy ungulate population their impact on livestock could be minimal."

Tuscany's woodlands support populations of both roe deer and wild boar, and are also grazed by sheep, goats and cattle; however, wild boar and roe deer made up over 95 per cent of wolf diet in the study area, with very little evidence of livestock predation.

The scientists identified prey items from fragments of bones and hair in the wolf dung collected in the region. The prey categories included wild boar, roe deer, red deer, hare, small rodents, goats, sheep and cattle.

For more than five years of the study, the percentage of wolf diet made up of wild boar was more than twice that of roe deer. Other prey represented only a very small proportion of the diet.

The researchers believe that further dietary studies are essential for understanding the true impact of wolves on European wildlife over time.

Co-author, Dr Phil Stephens, from the School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Durham University added: "Wolves and brown bears are gradually returning to their former strongholds in Europe. Understanding the needs of these species, as well as their potential impacts, is going to be fundamental to managing that welcome return."


'/>"/>

Contact: Carl Stiansen
c.r.stiansen@durham.ac.uk
44-019-133-46077
Durham University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. KD LUXE Jewelry and Accessories: Introducing Chic Italian Silver and Stainless Collections in Beverly Hills and Hollywood
2. Springer launches new journal with the Italian Association of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
3. Cell Phone Radiation Lawsuit Update: ICEMS Position Paper Supports Italian Supreme Court Ruling on Cell Phones and Brain Tumors, Bernstein Liebhard LLP Reports
4. Fort Lauderdale Spine & Injury Center Named as Power Liens Preferred Provider
5. Cancer Survivors Prefer to Stay With Cancer Doctors: Study
6. Stressed-Out Men May Prefer Heavier Women
7. Integrated Services Becomes Preferred Rental Provider for Rural/Metro Corporation
8. Patients Prefer More Invasive Form of Colon Scan: Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:8/21/2017)... ... August 21, 2017 , ... The Industrial Designers Society of ... 2017 Ceremony and Gala on Aug. 19, 2017 in Atlanta, GA—revealing which 25 ... most prestigious and rigorous design competitions. See all the winners at http://www.idsa.org/awards/idea/gallery . ...
(Date:8/19/2017)... ... August 19, 2017 , ... ... will feature the Aurum Group in an upcoming episode, slated to air fourth ... Innovations will feature the Aurum Group; a company committed to supporting dentistry using ...
(Date:8/19/2017)... ON (PRWEB) , ... August 19, 2017 , ... Curl ... the of NaturallyCurly.com® The Curl Leaders, Editors’ Choice 2017 Award for the second year ... accessory for hair stylists and curlies alike was voted Best Moisturizer for Type 2 ...
(Date:8/19/2017)... ... August 19, 2017 , ... “Congratulations! It's A Boy! God’s ... to both their parents and God. “Congratulations! It's A Boy! God’s Gift: A Story ... couple from Long Island, New York. , Published by Christian Faith Publishing, Dale Anthony ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... August 18, 2017 , ... Mediaplanet today ... for active, healthy lifestyles and highlighting the importance of proactive eye and ear ... and shares the latest innovations in hearing aid technology. , In this ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/11/2017)... 11, 2017 DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: DRIO), a ... big data solutions, today announced that it will release ... and host a conference call at 9:00am ET. The ... financial results and its strategy and outlook for the ... Erez Raphael , Chief Executive Officer, and ...
(Date:8/7/2017)... 2017 Insightin Health, provider of data-driven ... engagement, announced the selection of Michael Wood ... effective as of February 2017. In this role, Wood ... for our clients. Wood brings with him more ... business analytics within the healthcare industry. Wood formerly ...
(Date:8/7/2017)... -- Endo International plc (NASDAQ: ENDP ) today ... known U.S. mesh product liability claims and that it ... U.S. claims at reasonable values. Under the agreements, Endo ... of 2017 and continuing through the fourth quarter of ... the Company intends to increase its mesh product liability ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: