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Shaping carnivore communities by predator control: competitor release revisited



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González Casanovas, Jorge and Barrull, Joan and Mate Alonso, Isabel and Zorrilla, Juan M. and Ruiz-Olmo, Jordi and Gosálbez, Joaquim and Salicrú, Miquel (2012) Shaping carnivore communities by predator control: competitor release revisited. Ecological Research, 27 (3). pp. 603-614. ISSN 1440-1703

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Official URL: https://esj-journals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1007/s11284-012-0931-y


The traditional way to deal with hunting interests is often focused on predator control. This approach requires a detailed understanding of predator responses to game management. Control methods can be non-selective and, consequently, can potentially have a negative impact on non-target predator species, affecting carnivore guild. In order to assess the potential risks associated with non-selective predator control in the presence of intraguild competition, the classical Lotka–Volterra competition model was used, but with two additional factors: a linear factor for capture mortality (mortality caused by predator control) and a factor for vacated niche occupancy associated with immigration. Simulation in a scenario with three species revealed that one of them, the red fox Vulpes vulpes, which presented the highest intrinsic growth rate, can show population increases even under moderate control, whereas the population of European badger Meles meles, with a lower intrinsic growth rate, was reduced and, in some cases, may even become extinct. Lastly, the stone marten Martes foina presented a differential response, depending on the removal intensity and strategy employed. This behaviour is compatible with the results observed in a Mediterranean environment subjected to two types of game management: non-selective predator control (culling) and no control. In areas with nonselective control and moderate predator removal, the red fox population remained stable, while the stone marten and the European badger populations reduced markedly or disappeared.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Competitor release effect, Martes foina, Meles meles, Predator control, Vulpes vulpes
Subjects:Medical sciences > Biology > Ecology
Medical sciences > Biology > Zoology
ID Code:56349
Deposited On:15 Jul 2019 17:40
Last Modified:15 Jul 2019 17:40

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