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European Journal of Wildlife Research

, Volume 60, Issue 1, pp 11–21 | Cite as

Comparing patterns of human harvest and predation by Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx on European roe deer Capreolus capreolus in a temperate forest

  • Miha KrofelEmail author
  • Klemen Jerina
  • Franc Kljun
  • Ivan Kos
  • Hubert Potočnik
  • Nina Ražen
  • Petra Zor
  • Anamarija Žagar
Original Paper

Abstract

Human harvest is the most important mortality factor for wild ungulates in Europe and can affect several aspects of ungulate biology. There is a growing concern about possible negative side effects of human harvest. To better understand the differences between human and natural mortality, we compared the extent, age and sex structure, nutritional condition, spatial and temporal distribution of human harvest, and natural predation by the Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx on the European roe deer Capreolus capreolus, the most abundant wild ungulate in Europe. Compared to the human harvest, lynx were less likely to kill fawns and yearlings than adults, and among adult deer, lynx were more likely to kill females. The proportion of roe deer with fat-depleted bone marrow was higher among lynx prey than among harvested animals. Average lynx kill rate was estimated to 47.8 roe deer per year, and lynx predation was considerably lower than the human harvest in the same area. While human harvest increased with higher roe deer density, lynx predation was similar across the gradient of roe deer densities. Comparison with other countries indicated that differences between human harvest and natural mortality of ungulates vary considerably in different parts of Europe. Variation in hunting practices and, even more importantly, carnivore predation may have an important role in buffering unwanted side effects of harvest of wild ungulates.

Keywords

Dinaric Mountains Hunting Mortality Slovenia Ungulates Wildlife management 

Supplementary material

10344_2013_745_MOESM1_ESM.doc (47 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 47 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miha Krofel
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Klemen Jerina
    • 1
  • Franc Kljun
    • 2
  • Ivan Kos
    • 2
  • Hubert Potočnik
    • 2
  • Nina Ražen
    • 2
  • Petra Zor
    • 2
  • Anamarija Žagar
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Forestry and Renewable Forest Resources, Biotechnical FacultyUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia
  2. 2.Department of Biology, Biotechnical FacultyUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia

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