The interaction between wild and domestic ungulates may have positive or negative effects. Cattle grazing, for example can preserve open space and improve forage quality but also decrease forage availability and favor disease transmission. Consequently, multiple patterns of space use can be expected between wild ungulates and livestock. Here, we investigate the spatial overlap between red deer (Cervus elaphus) and cattle in alpine summer pastures in the Stelvio National Park (central Italian Alps), using pellet groups counts estimated with distance sampling for red deer and bovine scats estimated with strip transects. After accounting for environmental covariates, our results showed that with increasing bovine scat density, red deer pellet group density decreased. These results suggest that red deer may avoid bovines, though other mechanisms (e.g., human presence) may concur to trigger spatial avoidance. Understanding the drivers of the interactions between wildlife and livestock in Italian Alps would help conservation measures by enhancing coexistence on pastures.
Spatial avoidance between red deer and cattle in alpine pastures / A. Forti, M. Nava, A. Bortoloni, V. Sommei, C. Luzzago, L. Pedrotti, L. Corlatti. - In: HYSTRIX. - ISSN 0394-1914. - (2021). [Epub ahead of print]
|Titolo:||Spatial avoidance between red deer and cattle in alpine pastures|
|Parole Chiave:||pastures; red deer; cattle; distance sampling; pellet group counting; avoidance|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore VET/05 - Malattie Infettive degli Animali Domestici|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2021|
|Data ahead of print / Data di stampa:||3-nov-2021|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|