Oecologia

, Volume 173, Issue 3, pp 813–825

Home range size variation in a recovering wolf population: evaluating the effect of environmental, demographic, and social factors

  • Jenny Mattisson
  • Håkan Sand
  • Petter Wabakken
  • Vincenzo Gervasi
  • Olof Liberg
  • John D. C. Linnell
  • Geir Rune Rauset
  • Hans Christian Pedersen
Population ecology - Original research

DOI: 10.1007/s00442-013-2668-x

Cite this article as:
Mattisson, J., Sand, H., Wabakken, P. et al. Oecologia (2013) 173: 813. doi:10.1007/s00442-013-2668-x

Abstract

Home range size in mammals is a key ecological trait and an important parameter in conservation planning, and has been shown to be influenced by ecological, demographic and social factors in animal populations. Information on space requirements is especially important for carnivore species which range over very large areas and often come into direct conflict with human interest. We used long-term telemetry-location data from a recovering wolf population in Scandinavia to investigate variation in home range size in relation to environmental and social characteristics of the different packs. Wolves showed considerable variation in home range size, which ranged from 259 to 1,676 km2. Although wolf density increased fourfold during the study period, we found no evidence that intraspecific competition influenced range size. Local variation in moose density, which was the main prey for most packs, did not influence wolf home range size. Home ranges increased with latitude and elevation and decreased with increased roe deer density. Although prey biomass alone did not influence range size, our data suggest that there is a correlation between habitat characteristics, choice of prey species and possible hunting success, which currently combine to shape home range size in Scandinavian wolves.

Keywords

Territory Canis lupus Prey density Population density 

Supplementary material

442_2013_2668_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (116 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 116 kb)
442_2013_2668_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (94 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 93 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jenny Mattisson
    • 1
  • Håkan Sand
    • 2
  • Petter Wabakken
    • 3
  • Vincenzo Gervasi
    • 1
  • Olof Liberg
    • 2
  • John D. C. Linnell
    • 1
  • Geir Rune Rauset
    • 2
  • Hans Christian Pedersen
    • 1
  1. 1.Norwegian Institute for Nature ResearchTrondheimNorway
  2. 2.Grimsö Wildlife Research Station, Department of EcologySwedish University of Agricultural SciencesRiddarhyttanSweden
  3. 3.Faculty of Forestry and Wildlife ManagementHedmark University CollegeKoppangNorway

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