Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …


Editor-in-Chief: Denys, Christiane

6 Issues per year

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 0.714
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.816

CiteScore 2017: 0.82

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.433
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.603

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 80, Issue 3


Wolf diet in an agricultural landscape of north-eastern Turkey

Claudia CapitaniORCID iD: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1899-8679 / Mark Chynoweth / Josip Kusak / Emrah Çoban / Çağan H. Şekercioğlu
  • Department of Biology, University of Utah, 257 South 1400 East, Salt Lake City, 84112 UT, USA
  • KuzeyDoğa Society, Ortakapi Mah. Sehit Yusuf Cad. No:93 Kat:1, Merkez, Kars 36100, Turkey
  • College of Sciences, Koç University, Rumelifeneri, Sariyer 34450, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2015-06-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mammalia-2014-0151


In this study, we investigated wolf feeding ecology in Kars province, north-eastern Turkey, by analysing 72 scat samples collected in spring 2013. Ongoing camera trap surveys suggest that large wild ungulates are exceptionally rare in the region. On the contrary, livestock is abundant. Accordingly, scats analysis revealed that livestock constituted most of the biomass intake for wolves, although small mammals were the most frequent prey items. Wild ungulates were occasional prey, and although wolves make use of the main village garbage dump as a food source, garbage remains were scarce in scat samples. Wolf dependence on anthropogenic resources, primarily livestock, generates human-wildlife conflicts in the study area. Uncontrolled carcass disposal seems to boost this wolf behaviour. Synanthropy enhances the probability of wolf-human encounters and thus increases the risk of direct persecution, vehicle collisions, and hybridisation with dogs. When livestock is not available, small mammals are an important alternative prey for wolves. This may increase interspecific competition, particularly with lynx, which is also lacking natural prey in the area. Our preliminary results contribute to wolf ecology and conservation in the Anatolian-Caucasian range, where further studies are urgently needed to generate baseline data.

Keywords: generalist carnivore; human-wildlife conflict; livestock scavenging; scats analysis


  • Anonymous. 2012. (T-PVS (2012) 7), Report from the Meeting of the Group of Experts on the conservation of large carnivores in Europe Council of Europe. pp. 75.Google Scholar

  • Blanco, J.C. and Y. Cortés. 2007. Dispersal patterns, social structure and mortality of wolves living in agricultural habitats in Spain. J. Zool. (Lond.) 273: 114–124.Google Scholar

  • Boitani, L. 2003. Wolves conservation and recovery. In: (L.D. Mech and L. Boitani, eds.) Wolves: behavior, ecology, and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL. pp. 317–340.Google Scholar

  • Brillouin, L. 1956. Science and information theory. Academic Press, New York. pp. 320.Google Scholar

  • Capitani, C., I. Bertelli, P. Varuzza, M. Scandura and M. Apollonio. 2004. A comparative analysis of wolf (Canis lupus) diet in three different Italian ecosystems. Mamm. Biol.-Z. Säugetierkd. 69: 1–10.Google Scholar

  • Chapron, G., P. Kaczensky, J.D.C. Linnell, M. von Arx, D. Huber, H. Andrén, J.V. López-Bao, M. Adamec, F. Álvares, O. Anders, L. Balčiauskas, V. Balys, P. Bedő, F. Bego, J.C. Blanco, U. Breitenmoser, H. Brøseth, L. Bufka, R. Bunikyte, P. Ciucci, A. Dutsov, T. Engleder, C. Fuxjäger, C. Groff, K. Holmala, B. Hoxha, Y. Iliopoulos, O. Ionescu, J. Jeremić, K. Jerina, G. Kluth, F. Knauer, I. Kojola, I. Kos, M. Krofel, J. Kubala, S. Kunovac, J. Kusak, M. Kutal, O. Liberg, A. Majić, P. Männil, R. Manz, E. Marboutin, F. Marucco, D. Melovski, K. Mersini, Y. Mertzanis, R.W. Mysłajek, S. Nowak, J. Odden, J. Ozolins, G. Palomero, M. Paunović, J. Persson, H. Potočnik, P.-Y. Quenette, G. Rauer, I. Reinhardt, R. Rigg, A. Ryser, V. Salvatori, T. Skrbinšek, A. Stojanov, J.E. Swenson, L. Szemethy, A. Trajçe, E. Tsingarska-Sedefcheva, M. Váňa, R. Veeroja, P. Wabakken, M. Wölfl, S. Wölfl, F. Zimmermann, D. Zlatanova and L. Boitani. 2014. Recovery of large carnivores in Europe’s modern human- dominated landscapes. Science 346: 1517–1519.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Ciucci, P., L. Boitani, E.R. Pelliccioni, M. Rocco and I. Guy. 1996. A comparison of scat-analysis methods to assess the diet of the wolf Canis lupus. Wildlife Biol. 2: 37–48.Google Scholar

  • Debrot, S., C. Mermod and J.M. Weber. 1982. Atlas des poils de mammifères d’Europe. Institut de Zoologie de l’Université de Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel. pp. 1–208.Google Scholar

  • Falcucci, A., L. Maiorano and L. Boitani. 2007. Changes in land-use/land-cover patterns in Italy and their implications for biodiversity conservation. Landscape Ecol. 22: 617–633.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Floyd, T.J., L.D. Mech and P.D. Jordan. 1978. Relating wolf scat content to prey consumed. J. Wildl. Manage. 42: 528–532.Google Scholar

  • Fritts, S.H., R.O. Stephenson, R.D. Hayes and L. Boitani. 2003. Wolves and humans. In: (L.D. Mech and L. Boitani, eds.) Wolves: behavior, ecology, and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL. pp. 289–316.Google Scholar

  • Gümüşhane Haberi. 2013. Dogaya Yirmi Kizil Geyik Salindi. URL: http://tinyurl.com/lmghtzf. Gümüşhane, Turkey.

  • Hass, C.C. 2009. Competition and coexistence in sympatric bobcats and pumas. 2009. J. Zool.(Lond.) 278: 174–180.Google Scholar

  • Hosseini-Zavarei, F., M.S. Farhadinia, M. Beheshti-Zavareh and A. Abdoli. 2013. Predation by grey wolf on wild ungulates and livestock in central Iran. J. Zool. (Lond.) 290: 127–134.Google Scholar

  • Jedrzejewski, W. and V. Sidorovich. 2010. The art of tracking animals. Mammal Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences, Bialowieza, Poland. pp. 227.Google Scholar

  • Klare, U., J.F. Kamler and D.W. Macdonald. 2011. A comparison and critique of different scat-analysis methods for determining carnivore diet. Mamm. Rev. 41: 294–312.Google Scholar

  • Kopaliani, N., M. Shakarashvili, Z. Gurielidze, T. Qurkhuli and D. Tarkhnishvili. 2014. Gene flow between wolf and shepherd dog populations in Georgia (Caucasus). J. Hered. 105: 345–353.Google Scholar

  • Lelieveld, G. 2013. Meta-analysis on the effect of competition between lynx and wolf on their diets. MSc Ecology, VU University, Amsterdam.Google Scholar

  • Mattioli, L., C. Capitani, A. Gazzola, M. Scandura and M. Apollonio. 2011. Prey selection and dietary response by wolves in a high-density multi-species ungulate community. Eur. J. Wildl. Res. 57: 909–922.Google Scholar

  • Meriggi, A. and S. Lovari. 1996. A review of wolf predation in southern Europe: does the wolf prefer wild prey to livestock? J. Appl. Ecol. 33: 1561.Google Scholar

  • Meriggi, A., A. Brangi, L. Schenone, D. Signorelli and P. Milanesi. 2011. Changes of wolf (Canis lupus) diet in Italy in relation to the increase of wild ungulate abundance. Ethol. Ecol. Evol. 23: 195–210.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Morehouse, A.T. and M.S. Boyce. 2011. From venison to beef: seasonal changes in wolf diet composition in a livestock grazing landscape. Front. Ecol. Environ. 9: 440–445.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Peterson, R.O. and P. Ciucci. 2003. The wolf as a carnivore. In: (L.D. Mech and L. Boitani, eds.) Wolves: behavior, ecology, and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL. pp. 104–130.Google Scholar

  • Rigg, R. and M. Gorman. 2004. Spring-autumn diet of wolves (Canis lupus) in Slovakia and a review of wolf prey selection. Oecol. Mont. 13:30–41.Google Scholar

  • Rigg, R., S. Find’o, M. Wechselberger, M.L. Gorman, C. Sillero-Zubiri and D.W. Macdonald. 2011. Mitigating carnivore–livestock conflict in Europe: lessons from Slovakia. Oryx 45: 272–280.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Şekercioğlu, Ç.H. 2012. Turkey’s first wildlife corridor links bear, wolf and lynx populations to the Caucasus forests. National Geographic Society, Washington, D.C. URL: http://tinyurl.com/a3bvr3m.

  • Şekercioğlu, Ç.H., S. Anderson, E. Akçay, R. Bilgin, Ö.E. Can, G. Semiz, Ç. Tavşanoğlu, M.B. Yokeş, A. Soyumert, K. İpekdal, İ.K. Sağlam, M. Yücel and D.H. Nüzhet. 2011. Turkey’s globally important biodiversity in crisis. Biol. Conserv. 144: 2752–2769.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Tourani, M., E.M. Moqanaki, L. Boitani and P. Ciucci. 2014. Anthropogenic effects on the feeding habits of wolves in an altered arid landscape of central Iran. Mammalia 78: 117–121.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Tuğ, S. 2005. Conflict between humans and wolf: a study in Bozdağ, Konya Province, Turkey. Master’s Thesis. Middle East Technical University. pp. 58.Google Scholar

  • Tumanov, I.L. 1998. Reproductive characteristic of captive European brown bears and growth rates of their cubs in Russia. Ursus 10:63–65.Google Scholar

  • Van Duyne, C., E. Ras, A.E. Vos, W.F. Boer, R.J. Henkens and D. Usukhjargal. 2009. Wolf predation among reintroduced Przewalski horses in Hustai National Park, Mongolia. J. Wildl. Manage. 73: 836–843.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • World Wildlife Fund. 2014. Reintroduction of the Caucasian Red Deer in Armenia. Gland, Switzerland. URL: http://tinyurl.com/n9so5zv.

About the article

Received: 2014-10-14

Accepted: 2015-04-22

Published Online: 2015-06-01

Published in Print: 2016-05-01

Citation Information: Mammalia, Volume 80, Issue 3, Pages 329–334, ISSN (Online) 1864-1547, ISSN (Print) 0025-1461, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mammalia-2014-0151.

Export Citation

©2016 by De Gruyter.Get Permission

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Deniz Mengüllüoğlu, Hüseyin Ambarlı, Anne Berger, and Heribert Hofer
Ecology and Evolution, 2018
G. Cozzi, M. Chynoweth, J. Kusak, E. Çoban, A. Çoban, A. Ozgul, and Ç. H. Şekercioğlu
Journal of Zoology, 2016, Volume 300, Number 2, Page 142

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in