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Seasonal habitat-use patterns of large mammals in a human-dominated landscape


Dagtekin, Dilsad; Ertürk, Alper; Sommer, Stefan; Ozgul, Arpat; Soyumert, Anil (2024). Seasonal habitat-use patterns of large mammals in a human-dominated landscape. Journal of Mammalogy, 105(1):122-133.

Abstract

Large mammals in temperate climates typically display seasonal patterns of habitat use. However, these patterns are often overlooked because large mammals are usually surveyed at annual intervals. In addition, most studies focus on a single species and ignore other species with which the focal species could interact. Knowing seasonal patterns of habitat use in multiple species and understanding factors that cause these patterns can provide further detail on population dynamics and guide effective conservation planning. Here, using dynamic occupancy modeling, we analyze 11 years of camera-trap data collected in northwestern Anatolia, Turkey, to investigate seasonal habitat use of 8 large-mammal species: Brown Bear (Ursus arctos), Eurasian Lynx (Lynx lynx), Gray Wolf (Canis lupus), Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes), Wild Boar (Sus scrofa), Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus), European Hare (Lepus europaeus), and Red Deer (Cervus elaphus). For each species, we study the strength of seasonality in habitat use and its dependence on human population density and elevation, which have been shown to affect distributions of species in the region. Although all species exhibited seasonality in habitat use, the strength of this seasonality varied among species; it was strongest in Wild Boar, Roe Deer, and Brown Bear. Moreover, except for Brown Bear, all species tended to avoid sites close to humans. The species responded differently to changing elevation; increasing elevation had both positive and negative effects on species-specific colonization and desertion probabilities, and these effects were likely related to either feeding habits or tendency to avoid humans. These results indicate that seasonality should be taken into consideration in population studies. However, because species differ, seasonality patterns should be identified separately for each species of interest, as differences in these patterns can explain the underlying dynamics of habitat-use patterns more accurately.

Abstract

Large mammals in temperate climates typically display seasonal patterns of habitat use. However, these patterns are often overlooked because large mammals are usually surveyed at annual intervals. In addition, most studies focus on a single species and ignore other species with which the focal species could interact. Knowing seasonal patterns of habitat use in multiple species and understanding factors that cause these patterns can provide further detail on population dynamics and guide effective conservation planning. Here, using dynamic occupancy modeling, we analyze 11 years of camera-trap data collected in northwestern Anatolia, Turkey, to investigate seasonal habitat use of 8 large-mammal species: Brown Bear (Ursus arctos), Eurasian Lynx (Lynx lynx), Gray Wolf (Canis lupus), Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes), Wild Boar (Sus scrofa), Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus), European Hare (Lepus europaeus), and Red Deer (Cervus elaphus). For each species, we study the strength of seasonality in habitat use and its dependence on human population density and elevation, which have been shown to affect distributions of species in the region. Although all species exhibited seasonality in habitat use, the strength of this seasonality varied among species; it was strongest in Wild Boar, Roe Deer, and Brown Bear. Moreover, except for Brown Bear, all species tended to avoid sites close to humans. The species responded differently to changing elevation; increasing elevation had both positive and negative effects on species-specific colonization and desertion probabilities, and these effects were likely related to either feeding habits or tendency to avoid humans. These results indicate that seasonality should be taken into consideration in population studies. However, because species differ, seasonality patterns should be identified separately for each species of interest, as differences in these patterns can explain the underlying dynamics of habitat-use patterns more accurately.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Nature and Landscape Conservation, Genetics, Animal Science and Zoology, Ecology, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Language:English
Date:3 February 2024
Deposited On:05 Feb 2024 09:20
Last Modified:30 Jun 2024 01:38
Publisher:American Society of Mammalogists
ISSN:0022-2372
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/jmammal/gyad107
Project Information:
  • : FunderNature Conservation and National Parks of Turkey
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)