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Open AccessFeature PaperReview

Effects of Human Disturbance on Terrestrial Apex Predators

1
Grimsö Wildlife Research Station, Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SE-730 91 Riddarhyttan, Sweden
2
Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Postbox 5003, NO-1432 Ås, Norway
3
Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden
4
Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, NO-7485 Trondheim, Norway
5
Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Environmental Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SE-901 83 Umeå, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Michael Wink and David Murrell
Diversity 2021, 13(2), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13020068
Received: 25 December 2020 / Revised: 21 January 2021 / Accepted: 7 February 2021 / Published: 9 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Human Disturbance on Ecological Communities)
The effects of human disturbance spread over virtually all ecosystems and ecological communities on Earth. In this review, we focus on the effects of human disturbance on terrestrial apex predators. We summarize their ecological role in nature and how they respond to different sources of human disturbance. Apex predators control their prey and smaller predators numerically and via behavioral changes to avoid predation risk, which in turn can affect lower trophic levels. Crucially, reducing population numbers and triggering behavioral responses are also the effects that human disturbance causes to apex predators, which may in turn influence their ecological role. Some populations continue to be at the brink of extinction, but others are partially recovering former ranges, via natural recolonization and through reintroductions. Carnivore recovery is both good news for conservation and a challenge for management, particularly when recovery occurs in human-dominated landscapes. Therefore, we conclude by discussing several management considerations that, adapted to local contexts, may favor the recovery of apex predator populations and their ecological functions in nature. View Full-Text
Keywords: carnivore recovery; ecological function; human disturbance; human-dominated landscapes; large carnivores; Northern hemisphere carnivore recovery; ecological function; human disturbance; human-dominated landscapes; large carnivores; Northern hemisphere
MDPI and ACS Style

Ordiz, A.; Aronsson, M.; Persson, J.; Støen, O.-G.; Swenson, J.E.; Kindberg, J. Effects of Human Disturbance on Terrestrial Apex Predators. Diversity 2021, 13, 68. https://doi.org/10.3390/d13020068

AMA Style

Ordiz A, Aronsson M, Persson J, Støen O-G, Swenson JE, Kindberg J. Effects of Human Disturbance on Terrestrial Apex Predators. Diversity. 2021; 13(2):68. https://doi.org/10.3390/d13020068

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ordiz, Andrés; Aronsson, Malin; Persson, Jens; Støen, Ole-Gunnar; Swenson, Jon E.; Kindberg, Jonas. 2021. "Effects of Human Disturbance on Terrestrial Apex Predators" Diversity 13, no. 2: 68. https://doi.org/10.3390/d13020068

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