Top predators play an important role in human-dominated ecosystems
|Large carnivores such as brown bears or wolves - so-called top predators - play a |
crucial role in the regulation of wildlife populations in human-dominated
landscapes [Credit: Leuphana Universitat Luneburg]
For their study, the scientists used camera traps to survey the presence of wild animals in a human-dominated region in Transylvania / Romania, including top predators such as brown bears and wolves; medium-sized predators such as red foxes; and large herbivores such as deer. People and unrestrained dogs act as additional predators in this system.
"The demonstrated strong effects of human activities on wildlife populations at all levels of the food pyramid show how necessary it is to systematically consider people as part of the food pyramid in the future," said Ine Dorresteijn, lead author of the study. "Especially against the background that top predators like wolves increasingly return to human-dominated landscapes, it is important to understand the impact of the simultaneous presence of these predators and of people on the different levels of the food pyramid. Our study makes an important contribution to this."
Source: Leuphana Universitat Luneburg [April 12, 2016]