Long-distance dispersal connects Dinaric-Balkan and Alpine grey wolf (Canis lupus) populations
ID Ražen, Nina (Author), ID Kljun, Franc (Author), ID Kos, Ivan (Author), ID Krofel, Miha (Author), ID Luštrik, Roman (Author), ID Majić Skrbinšek, Aleksandra (Author), ID Potočnik, Hubert (Author)

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In the last two centuries, persecution and deforestation caused grey wolf Canis lupus populations in Europe to decline. Recently, their numbers started to recover although most populations still remain isolated from one another. This study presents the first documented evidence of the successful reconnection of the Dinaric-Balkan and the Alpine wolf populations via long distance dispersal and subsequent reproduction. A young male wolf radiocollared in the Dinaric Mountains in July 2011 travelled through Slovenia and Austria to the Italian Alps, where he settled in March 2012. During the 98 days of dispersal period the wolf has travelled a cumulative line distance of 1176 km crossing multiple anthropogenic and natural barriers, and successfully hunting wild prey until he settled 233 km straight line distance from its natal territory. Camera trapping, snow tracking and genetic evidence in the new territory confirmed pairing with a female wolf from the neighboring Alpine population. In the following year the pair has produced a first documented “mixed” litter between wolves from the Dinaric- Balkan and the Alpine wolf populations.This case study demonstrates the potential for the future merging of European wolf populations even in human-dominated landscapes and highlights the importance of transboundary cooperation in wolf research and management.

Keywords:grey wolf, Canis lupus, long-distance dispersal, GPS collar, population joining, recolonization, Central Europe
Work type:Not categorized
Typology:1.01 - Original Scientific Article
Organization:BF - Biotechnical Faculty
Number of pages:Str. 137-142
Numbering:#Vol. #62, #iss. #1
PID:20.500.12556/RUL-97259 This link opens in a new window
ISSN on article:1612-4642
DOI:10.1007/s10344-015-0971-z This link opens in a new window
COBISS.SI-ID:4240806 This link opens in a new window
Publication date in RUL:23.10.2017
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Record is a part of a journal

Title:European journal of wildlife research
Shortened title:Eur. J. Wildlife Res.
Publisher:Springer-Verlag Heidelberg
COBISS.SI-ID:1188262 This link opens in a new window


License:CC BY-NC-ND 4.0, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Description:The most restrictive Creative Commons license. This only allows people to download and share the work for no commercial gain and for no other purposes.
Licensing start date:23.10.2017

Secondary language

Keywords:volk, Canis lupus, daljinska disperzija, GPS ovratnica, telemetrija, združevanje populacij, rekolinizacija, habitati, razširjenost, Srednja Evropa


Funder:ARRS - Slovenian Research Agency
Project number:P4-0059
Name:LIFE SloWolf (Evropska Unija, LIFE08 NAT/SLO/000244

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