The wolf (Canis lupus) is among the most controversial of wildlife species. Abundance estimates are required to inform public debate and policy decisions, but obtaining them at biologically relevant scales is challenging. We developed a system for comprehensive population estimation across the Italian alpine region (100,000 km2), involving 1513 trained operators representing 160 institutions. This extensive network allowed for coordinated genetic sample collection and landscape-level spatial capture–recapture analyses that transcended administrative boundaries to produce the first estimates of key parameters for wolf population status assessment. Wolf abundance was estimated at 952 individuals (95% credible interval 816–1120) and 135 reproductive units (i.e., packs) (95% credible interval 112–165). We also estimated that mature individuals accounted for 33–45% of the entire population. The monitoring effort was spatially estimated thereby overcoming an important limitation of citizen science data. This is an important approach for promoting wolf–human coexistence based on wolf abundance monitoring and an endorsement of large-scale harmonized conservation practices.

A multidisciplinary approach to estimating wolf population size for long-term conservation

Bisi F.;Ferrari P.;Pedrotti L.;
2023-01-01

Abstract

The wolf (Canis lupus) is among the most controversial of wildlife species. Abundance estimates are required to inform public debate and policy decisions, but obtaining them at biologically relevant scales is challenging. We developed a system for comprehensive population estimation across the Italian alpine region (100,000 km2), involving 1513 trained operators representing 160 institutions. This extensive network allowed for coordinated genetic sample collection and landscape-level spatial capture–recapture analyses that transcended administrative boundaries to produce the first estimates of key parameters for wolf population status assessment. Wolf abundance was estimated at 952 individuals (95% credible interval 816–1120) and 135 reproductive units (i.e., packs) (95% credible interval 112–165). We also estimated that mature individuals accounted for 33–45% of the entire population. The monitoring effort was spatially estimated thereby overcoming an important limitation of citizen science data. This is an important approach for promoting wolf–human coexistence based on wolf abundance monitoring and an endorsement of large-scale harmonized conservation practices.
2023
2023
captura-recaptura espacial; carnívoros mayores; ciencia ciudadana; citizen science; detección imperfecta; genetic sampling; imperfect detection; large carnivores; modelo poblacional; monitoreo; monitoring; muestreo genético; population modeling; spatial capture–recapture;
Marucco, F.; Boiani, M. V.; Dupont, P.; Milleret, C.; Avanzinelli, E.; Pilgrim, K.; Schwartz, M. K.; von Hardenberg, A.; Perrone, D. S.; Friard, O. P.; Menzano, A.; Bisi, F.; Fattori, U.; Tomasella, M.; Calderola, S.; Carolfi, S.; Ferrari, P.; Chioso, C.; Truc, F.; Bombieri, G.; Pedrotti, L.; Righetti, D.; Acutis, P. L.; Guglielmo, F.; Hauffe, H. C.; Rossi, C.; Caniglia, R.; Aragno, P.; La Morgia, V.; Genovesi, P.; Bischof, R.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11383/2166814
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