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Livestock damage and wolf presence


Marco Apollonio, Department of Zoology and Evolutionary Genetics, University of Sassari, Via Muroni 25, I-07100 Sassari, Italy.
Tel: +39 079 228667; Fax: +39 079 228665


Depredation on livestock and wolf pack Canis lupus distribution was investigated in the province of Arezzo, Tuscany, from 1998 to 2001. Although livestock was uniformly distributed, damage level and distribution were focused in the mountainous area inhabited by wolf packs hence there were huge differences between areas with and without wolves. In the whole province a few farms were persistently affected by predation (6%), and they reported 38% of the total attacks and 37% of the total losses. Surplus killing phenomena involved only sheep and goat farms, affecting 18% of the total. Thirty-five attacks (14% of the total attacks) reported 536 kills (44% of the total livestock killed in the whole province of Arezzo). During the period 1998–2001, compensation costs in the province averaged 86 863 Euros (range: 68 805–99 318 Euros). In the same period, no farmer requested prevention funding from the Tuscan region. During the study period wolf population was stable: wolf packs were distributed on 47% of the whole province (1504 km2), with a density estimated at 2.9±0.7 wolves 100 km−2.