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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter August 19, 2012

Carnivores in burned and adjacent unburned areas in a Mediterranean ecosystem

Perikles Birtsas, Christos Sokos and Stavros Exadactylos
From the journal mammalia


Wildfire is a major disturbance factor that affects wildlife both directly and indirectly. To better understand its influence, carnivore mammals were monitored using scent stations, inside and outside a burned area of a typical Mediterranean ecosystem of Northern Hellas, in the second and third summers post-fire. The main Carnivora species in the study area were red fox (Vulpes vulpes), stone marten (Martes foina), and free-ranging dogs and cats. Carnivore visitation rate was found higher in the intensely burned area. Unburned and intensely burned areas differ by the absence of stone marten from the burned areas and the high visitation rate of fox in the intensely burned area. At a micro-scale level, no relation was found between carnivore visits and fire influence on vegetation of the moderately burned area. Wildlife managers would be advised to monitor fox populations after forest fires as their increased abundance may influence other species.

Corresponding author: Perikles Birtsas, Laboratory of Wildlife, Department of Forestry and Management of Natural Environment, Applied Science Institute of Larissa, End of Mavromichali Str., 43100 Karditsa, Hellas, Greece

Received: 2011-7-7
Accepted: 2012-6-13
Published Online: 2012-08-19
Published in Print: 2012-11-01

©2012 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston