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Article

Consumption of Carnivores by Wolves: A Worldwide Analysis of Patterns and Drivers

1
Departamento de Ciências da Vida, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra, 3000-456 Coimbra, Portugal
2
Department of Forestry, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Večna pot 83, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
3
CIBIO/InBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Universidade do Porto, Campus de Vairão, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diversity 2020, 12(12), 470; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12120470
Received: 11 September 2020 / Revised: 9 December 2020 / Accepted: 9 December 2020 / Published: 11 December 2020
The occurrence of carnivore species in wolf diet has been overlooked and poorly studied despite the potential implications for wolf ecology and wildlife management. We conducted an extensive literature review, focusing on 120 wolf diet studies worldwide to assess global patterns of carnivore consumption by wolves and their ecological and human-related determinants. We used a total of 143 sampling sites with data on the consumption of carnivores by wolves. In total, 35 carnivore species were reported to be consumed by wolves, comprising members of all taxonomic carnivore families represented within the gray wolf range. The carnivores were mostly limited to occasional consumption (<5% of wolf diet) but could account for as much as 25% in some study areas. The most frequently consumed carnivore species were those with reported scavenging behavior, belonging to medium-sized generalist canids. Generalized linear model (GLM) analysis revealed that higher magnitudes of carnivore consumption were related to nonprotected areas as well as lower occurrences of wild ungulates, domestic ungulates, and small mammals in wolf diet, while higher numbers of consumed carnivore species were related to nonprotected areas with low vegetation productivity and lower occurrences of domestic ungulates and small mammals in wolf diet. Our results suggest that carnivore consumption by wolves is driven by altered ecosystems and human-dominated landscapes, where mesopredator densities are often increased and prey densities decreased, which intensify competition and the need for alternative food sources. View Full-Text
Keywords: Canis lupus; competition; domestic dog; interspecific killing; mesopredators; worldwide review Canis lupus; competition; domestic dog; interspecific killing; mesopredators; worldwide review
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MDPI and ACS Style

Martins, I.; Krofel, M.; Mota, P.G.; Álvares, F. Consumption of Carnivores by Wolves: A Worldwide Analysis of Patterns and Drivers. Diversity 2020, 12, 470. https://doi.org/10.3390/d12120470

AMA Style

Martins I, Krofel M, Mota PG, Álvares F. Consumption of Carnivores by Wolves: A Worldwide Analysis of Patterns and Drivers. Diversity. 2020; 12(12):470. https://doi.org/10.3390/d12120470

Chicago/Turabian Style

Martins, Inês, Miha Krofel, Paulo G. Mota, and Francisco Álvares. 2020. "Consumption of Carnivores by Wolves: A Worldwide Analysis of Patterns and Drivers" Diversity 12, no. 12: 470. https://doi.org/10.3390/d12120470

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