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Life Sciences - Animal Sciences | European Journal of Wildlife Research

European Journal of Wildlife Research

European Journal of Wildlife Research

Chief Editor: Christian Gortázar

ISSN: 1612-4642 (print version)
ISSN: 1439-0574 (electronic version)

Journal no. 10344

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Welcome to the Journal Cover Gallery of the European Journal of Wildlife Research

You are invited to contact Dr. Christian Gortázar, Editor-in-Chief, at Christian.Gortazar@uclm.es if you would like to submit a photo for consideration as the journal cover.

Volume 64/6 

This issue of EJWR includes collaborations from very different regions,worldwide. The cover highlights a research on the group pattern of Marco Polo sheep in the Chinese Pamir plateau by Muyang Wang and co-authors. Marco Polo sheep formed larger groups as an effective antipredator strategy in seasons when forage amounts allowed them to do so, though human activities also had a significant impact on group patterns, forcing out wild sheep to aggregate on remnants of suitable pastures.
Photo: Large group of Marco Polo sheep
(Ovis ammon polii); Author: Muyang Wang

Volume 64/5 

Conflicts with wildlife emerge wherever a species valuable for human beings is intensely affected by wildlife – and interventions are needed to provide solutions. Rubén Moreno-Opo and co-authors found that European beeeaters (Merops apiaster) negatively affect honey bee activity and honey production, mainly during their migratory season (August). However, there were no negative effects on the survival and viability of the hives. Fortunately, preventive measures such as installing shading meshes around the apiary to prevent bee predation offered promising results.
Photo: European bee-eater (Merops apiaster).
Photographer: Juan Carlos Núñez

Volume 64/4 

Cover picture The Cabrera vole (Microtus cabrerae) is a threatened Iberian endemism of damp grassland patches. Two articles by the same Portugal-based team at CiBio published in this issuse on Cabrera voles to investigate the efficacy of genetic non-invasive sampling (gNIS). For small mammals, this is where faeces (this study), hair or owl pellet remains are genetically typed, without animal capture. Sabino-Marques and colleagues (article 44) compare population density estimates through gNIS and through capture; Ferreira and colleagues (article 46) compare genetic diversity, kinship and dispersal, and overall costeffectiveness, between non-invasive methods and capture-based ones. gNIS performed excellently, and these unusually detailed analyses showed its effectiveness for monitoring and studying rare and elusive small mammals, avoiding disturbance due to live-capture. Photo: Cabrera vole (Microtus cabrerae).
Photographer: Soraia Barbosa.

Volume 64/3 

Cover picture This time the cover photo illustrates the first Topical Collection of the European Journal of Wildlife Research: Road Ecology. The purpose of this discipline is to understand the interactions among roads, traffic and the surrounding environment. This Topical Collection aims to develop general principles and applications, and to provide a forum for collaborative dialogue on Road Ecology. Read more information on this Topical Collection in the editorial.
Photo: Red deer (Cervus elaphus);
Author: Jacinto Román.

Vol. 64/2 

Cover picture Hunters can contribute valuable samples to study wildlife population trends. This is evidenced by a study on Eurasian wigeon (Mareca penelope) published in this issue. Wigeons are widespread migratory dabbling ducks, breeding in northern Eurasia. Hannu Pöysä and Veli-Matti Väänänen report on the long term trends in the proportion of first-year birds in wigeon wing samples. The study shows a consistent long-term decline, probably indicating an overall decrease in breeding success. This variation was not associated with weather or climatic variables for the breeding and wintering periods. Hence, the role of habitat deterioration as a global driver of breeding success should receive more attention.
Photo: Eurasian wigeon (Mareca penelope);
Author: Veli-Matti Väänänen.

Volume 64/1 

In this issue, Davaa Lkhagvasuren and co-authors use abundant collection material to describe the population structure of the Asiatic wild ass in its main range, the Mongolian Gobi. The mean age was 7.7 years and the maximum age 29 years. The study revealed low annual mortality rates of about 15% in the most productive age classes of 5–10 years. This is the first insight into the structure of the largest remaining Asiatic wild ass population and can be used as a benchmark for future monitoring and population viability modeling.
Photo: Asiatic wild ass (Equus hemionus).
Author: Petra Kaczensky.

Volume 63/6 

Poisoning is still a major cause of death among endangered raptors. In this issue, two papers deal with raptor poisoning in Europe. Oliver Krone and his colleagues from the IZW in Berlin report that secondary carbofuran poisoning in White-tailed Sea-eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) indicates the threat to non-target species from illegal use. Carbofuran poisoning is also recorded among red kites (Milvus milvus) by Fieke M. Molenaar and coauthors from the ZS London, along with other substances such as rodenticides. Poisoning was diagnosed in one third of the studied kites belonging to a resource intensive and expensive reintroduction program. Both studies evidence that thorough forensic examinations including toxicology are essential to monitor wildlife fatalities.
Photo: White-tailed Sea-eagle
(Haliaeetus albicilla);
Author: Oliver Krone.

Vol. 63/5 

Top-down and bottom-up controls are hypothesized to regulate population structures in many ecosystems. However, few studies have had the opportunity to analyze both processes in the natural environment. In this issue, Leroy Soria-Díaz, Mike S. Fowler and Octavio Monroy-Vilchis show that that seasonal per capita changes in cougar abundance is best explained by bottom-up control and intraspecific feedback, while per capita changes in prey abundance were significantly affected by cougar abundance, indicating top-down control. Hence, both routes are in effect in the surveyed Mexican study site.
Photo: Cougar (Puma concolor);
Author: Octavio Monroy-Vilchis.

Vol. 63/4 

The European brown hare (Lepus europaeus) is a keystone species of Eurasian agricultural ecosystems. This farmland lagomorph is widespread but declining and is therefore of conservation concern. Volume 63 of the European Journal of Wildlife Research has already published two articles dealing with this species. In the first one (Article 49, June 2017), Silviu O. Petrovan and co-authors studied the use by brown hares of bioenergy crops, revealing that benefits and limitations of this novel habitat are scale-dependent and require attention. In this issue (Article 62, August 2017), Luigi Esposito and co-authors used hair cortisol levels as an indicator of stress in captive brown hares, showing that a short period of adaptation in a low-stress environment reduces the stress status of hares during their release. Such indicator could be useful for non-invasive stress monitoring in this and other wildlife.
Photo: European brown hare (Lepus europaeus);
Author: Silviu O. Petrovan.

Volume 63/3 

Estimation of demographic parameters is of fundamental interest to life history theory and population ecology, and is also critical for animal conservation and management. In this issue, Jiapeng Qu and co-authors present data on the dynamics of a population of plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae) from Tibet. Pika density and precipitation had negative effects on reproductive success, while temperature showed consistently positive effects. Hence, pika density and climate regulate together the population dynamics of plateau pikas.
Photo: Plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae);
Author: Jiapeng Qu

Volume 63/2 

The European mink is a small semi-aquatic andsolitary living carnivore which mainly inhabitsfresh water bodies such as riverbanks, brooksand wetlands. To examine the occurrence ofindividual specialisation, Marianne Haage andco-authors performed a feeding experiment oncaptive bred European minks in a translocationprogramme. By using animals reared in acontrolled environment with identical feedingroutines, the authors examined whether or notindividual specialisation is affected by innatepreferences and learning, by including novelprey species and investigating learning times.They conclude that both innate preferencesand learning seem to be of importance fordietary preferences in European mink,suggesting that this behavioural plasticitycould be of concern in conservation.
Photo: European mink (Mustela lutreola);
Author: Tiit Maran.

Volume 63/1 

The European bison became extinct in the wild in the XIX Century due to overhunting. However, after successful captive breeding and re-introductions, nowadays there are freeranging populations in several European countries. In this issue, a paper by Linas Balčiauskas and co-authors addresses the human-wildlife conflicts linked to the reestablishment of this large mammal, and the role of public awareness therein. Bison are also mentioned in a second article, by Orłowska and co-authors, on tuberculosis in southern Poland. This evidences the health implications as another important aspect of bison recovery.
Photo: European bison (Bison bonasus) by Rafał Kowalczyk.
Rafał Kowalczyk published an article on bison parasites
(Kołodziej-Sobocińska, M., Demiaszkiewicz, A.W., Pyziel, A.M. et al.
Eur J Wildl Res (2016) 62:781. doi:10.1007/s10344-016-1037-6).

Volume 62/6 

The development and evaluation of a reliable noninvasive genetic sampling is a crucial step towards accurately estimating population size for the long-term monitoring of wildlife species. In this issue, Maik Rehnus and Kurt Bollmann investigated the feasibility of noninvasive genetic sampling data for capturerecapture analyses of the mountain hare. They used microsatellite markers to genotype the samples that were collected according to a systematic and an opportunistic sampling design. The systematic sampling revealed reliable population density estimates whereas the opportunistic sampling resulted in higher numbers of recapture and increased the spatial resolution of the data. The study informs wildlife ecologists and managers about suitable survey techniques for the monitoring of lagomorph populations and addresses important principles of reliable survey methods for other elusive wildlife species.
Picture: Mountain hare (Lepus timidus).
Photographer: Rolf Giger.
The article on Bonelli’s eagle habitat selection by Beatriz Martínez-Miranzo and co-authors, originally scheduled for issue 5/2016, is published in this issue 6/2016. We apologize for not including the article along with the corresponding cover picture in issue 5/2016.

Volume 62/5 

Integrating modern tracking tools and classical census methods provides high-quality data in wildlife research. In this issue, Beatriz Martínez-Miranzo and co-authors study the habitat selection of 14 Bonelli’s eagles (Aquila fasciata) equipped with satellite tracking devices. Using a multi-scale approach, the study found that at a regional scale, eagles select heterogeneous habitat with crops, scrub and forest. At a smaller scale however, habitat structure plays a key role and selection is conditioned by the presence of potential prey. Given the scarcity of typical prey such as rabbits and partridges, Bonelli’s eagleswill surprisingly prefer urban habitats to hunt pigeons. Because habitat selection differs at different scales, understanding the effects of this plasticity is necessary to implement appropriate habitat management actions, eventually including humanized habitats. Picture: Adult Bonelli’s eagle (Aquila fasciata).
Photographer: Alberto Portero Garcés.

Volume 62/4 

Bats are one of the largest mammalian orders, representing about one fifth of all known mammal species. Therefore, and because of the ecological relevance of bats, EJWR often includes publications on bat management. In this issue, a study by E. Kühnert and coauthors shows that the structure of woodland bat communities is influenced by the availability of suitable roosts. Radio-tracking evidenced clear species-specific roost preferences. These results provide guidance for bat-friendly forest management.
Photo: Barbastelle bat (Barbastella barbastellus); Author Philippe Christe

Volume 62/3 

European Journal of Wildlife Research
Michaela Skuban and colleagues studied the effects of agricultural and game management policies on the feeding and behavior of brown bears. Recently, anthropogenic food became more accessible for bears in Slovakia, due to supplementary feeding of ungulates and due to agricultural crops. In Europe, game feeding has negative consequences in form of ungulate population overgrowth, but could also influence bear behavior.
Photo: Brown bear, by Tibor Pataky.

Volume 62/2 

In this issue, three articles deal with conflicts surrounding wolf (Canis lupus) conservation and management. The study by Marino Agnese and co-authors shows that ex post and insurancebased compensation fail to increase tolerance for wolves in semi-agricultural landscapes of central Italy; a second study from Iran by Nader Habibzadeh identifies the determinants of humanwolf conflicts in East Azerbaijan; and in a third one Bjørn Kaltenborn and Scott Brainerd suggest that poaching can inadvertently contribute to increased public acceptance of wolves in Scandinavia.
Photo: two Iberian wolves. Author: SaBio-IREC.

Volume 62/1 

The Eurasian wild boar (Sus scrofa) is a relevant wildlife species in relation to disease control at the interface with livestock. In this issue of EJWR, three articles address the field of wildlife-livestock interaction. Two of them, by Payne and coauthors and Carrasco and coauthors, focus on wildlife visits to farm facilities, assessed by camera traps. A third one, by Cowie and coauthors, investigates direct contact rates among a matrix of wild and domestic mammals using data-loggers. Together, these three articles provide a complete insight into the most likely indirect mechanisms of infection transmission between wild boar and livestock.

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    European Journal of Wildlife Research focuses on all aspects of wildlife biology. Main areas are: applied wildlife ecology; diseases affecting wildlife population dynamics, conservation, economy or public health; ecotoxicology; management for conservation, hunting or pest control; population genetics; and the sustainable use of wildlife as a natural resource. Contributions to socio-cultural aspects of human-wildlife relationships and to the history and sociology of hunting will also be considered.

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