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Wolf monitoring in Scandinavia: evaluating counts of packs and reproduction events

Åkesson, Mikael and Svensson, Linn and Flagstad, Oystein and Wabakken, Petter and Frank, Jens (2022). Wolf monitoring in Scandinavia: evaluating counts of packs and reproduction events. The Journal Of Wildlife Management. 86 :4 , e22206
[Research article]

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Abstract

Large carnivores are elusive and use large areas, which causes monitoring to be challenging and costly. Moreover, management to reduce conflicts and simultaneously ensure long-term population viability require precise population estimates. In Scandinavia, the monitoring of wolves (Canis lupus) is primarily based on counting packs, identifying reproduction, and genetically identifying territorial wolves from noninvasive DNA samples. We assessed the reliability of wolf monitoring in Scandinavia by estimating the detectability of territorial pairs, packs, and reproduction. Our data, comprising snow-tracking data and DNA-identified individuals from 2005-2016, covered 11 consecutive winter monitoring seasons (Oct-Mar). Among 343 cases where we identified a wolf pack, territorial wolves were also detected in the same area during the previous season in 323 (94.2%) cases. In only 6 of the remaining 20 cases, there was no prior knowledge of territorial wolves in the area. Among the 328 detected reproduction events (litter born to a pack), we detected 97% during the monitoring period and identified the rest >= 1 year later from kinship assessments of all DNA-detected individuals. These results suggest that we failed to detect only few packs with reproduction events during the monitoring season that followed breeding. Yearly monitoring of territorial individuals and continuous updates of the pedigree allowed us to retrospectively identify reproduction events and packs that were not identified earlier.

Authors/Creators:Åkesson, Mikael and Svensson, Linn and Flagstad, Oystein and Wabakken, Petter and Frank, Jens
Title:Wolf monitoring in Scandinavia: evaluating counts of packs and reproduction events
Series Name/Journal:The Journal Of Wildlife Management
Year of publishing :2022
Volume:86
Number:4
Article number:e22206
Number of Pages:13
Publisher:WILEY
ISSN:0022-541X
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Keywords:Canis lupus, large carnivores, non-invasive survey, pedigree, population monitoring, reproduction, Scandinavia, wolf
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-116565
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-116565
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1002/jwmg.22206
Web of Science (WoS)000770012400001
Scopus2-s2.0-85126357333
ID Code:27885
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:16 May 2022 08:25
Metadata Last Modified:16 May 2022 08:31

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