Although domestic carnivores are frequently considered a threat to wildlife inside and around urban areas, little is known about the incursions of these animals from urban areas to the surrounding habitats. To explore this, we sampled carnivores in wooded areas surrounding four villages located in the mountains north of Madrid by using 40 camera-trapping stations. They were distributed at regular distances within a perpendicular transect distributed from 10 to 2000 m from the urban border. The results suggest that the incidence of domestic carnivores (cats and dogs) was constrained to <400 m from the urban border, and that the presence of domestic carnivores did not interfere with the distribution of wild carnivores (foxes, beech martens, badgers, genets, etc.), which show random distribution patterns around villages. This means that overpredation at the village edges could mainly be due to the effect of domestic animals and not to that of wild carnivores attracted to urban areas.
©2012 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston