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Mammal Research

, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 11–22 | Cite as

Wolf depredation on livestock in central Greece

  • Yorgos Iliopoulos
  • Stefanos Sgardelis
  • Vaios Koutis
  • Dimitrios Savaris
Article

Abstract

We studied wolfCanis lupus Linnaeus, 1758 — livestock conflict in central Greece by investigating patterns of 267 verified wolf attacks on livestock for 21 months. Wolves attacked adult goats 43% and cattle 218% more than expected, whereas sheep 41% less than expected from their availability. Wolves killed less than four sheep or goats in 79%, and one cow or calf in 74% of depredation events, respectively. We recorded higher attack rates during wolf post-weaning season. Wolf attacks on strayed, or kept inside non predator-proof enclosures, sheep and goats, were on average two to four times respectively more destructive than those when livestock was guarded by a shepherd. Sheepdog use reduced losses per attack. Optimal sheepdog number ranged from 3 to 9 animals depending on flock size. Losses per attack were positively related to the number of wolves involved. Total losses per farm were positively correlated with the size of livestock unit but percentage losses per capita increased with decreasing flock size. Management implications to mitigate livestock depredation are discussed.

Key words

wolf livestock depredation husbandry methods conservation Greece 

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Copyright information

© Mammal Research Institute, Bialowieza, Poland 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yorgos Iliopoulos
    • 1
    • 2
  • Stefanos Sgardelis
    • 3
  • Vaios Koutis
    • 1
  • Dimitrios Savaris
    • 1
  1. 1.Callisto, Wildlife and Nature Conservation SocietyThessalonikiGreece
  2. 2.Department of Zoology, School of BiologyAristotle University of ThessalonikiGreece
  3. 3.Department of Ecology, School of BiologyAristotle University of ThessalonikiGreece

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