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Acta Theriologica

, Volume 50, Issue 2, pp 263–276 | Cite as

Patterns of wolfCanis lupus predation on wild and domestic ungulates in the Western Carpathian Mountains (S Poland)

  • Sabina Nowak
  • Robert W. Mysłajek
  • Bogumiła Jędrzejewska
Article

Abstract

We studied the predator-prey relationships among wolvesCanis lupus Linnaeus, 1758, wild ungulates, and livestock in the managed mountain forests of the Western Carpathians (S Poland). Though roe deerCapreolus capreolus dominated in the community of wild ungulates and livestock was abundant within the study area, the three wolf packs preyed mainly on red deerCervus elaphus (42% of food biomass), and next on the roe deer (33%). In both species of deer, wolves preferred killing females and juveniles more frequently than expected from their respective shares in the populations. Wild boarSus scrofa made up 4% of the food biomass, in accordance with its low share in the ungulates community. Despite the easy access of wolves to numerous unprotected sheep flocks pastured on meadows among woods, livestock constituted only 3% of the wolf food biomass. Wolves preyed mostly on sheep (88%), killing on average 34 per year. Most cases of livestock depredation occurred in August –September, on pastures located most often >50 m apart from buildings. Usually, lack of proper guarding was conducive to wolf attacks.

Key words

wolf diet prey selection red deer roe deer livestock depredation 

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Copyright information

© Mammal Research Institute, Bialowieza, Poland 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sabina Nowak
    • 1
  • Robert W. Mysłajek
    • 1
  • Bogumiła Jędrzejewska
    • 2
  1. 1.Association for Nature WOLFGodziszkaPoland
  2. 2.Mammal Research InstitutePolish Academy of SciencesBiałowieżaPoland

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