NadpisThe effects of local and landscape-scale habitat characteristics and prey availability on corridor use by carnivores: A comparison of two contrasting farmlands
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AutořiCervinka, J, Salek, M, Padysakova, E, Smilauer, P
JournalJournal For Nature Conservation

Corridors are thought to reduce the negative biological effects of habitat loss and fragmentation by providing connectivity and suitable habitat for many species, including carnivores. Although corridor structure maintenance is considered to be an essential tool for carnivore conservation in a human-dominated landscape, surprisingly little is known about the effects of different factors at various spatial scales. The main aim of this study was to determine how local and landscape-scale habitat characteristics and prey availability influence the corridor use by carnivores in a Central European agricultural landscape. Moreover we investigated carnivore corridor occurrence in two contrasting landscapes that differ in level of habitat loss and fragmentation to evaluate relative effect of species-specific response to regional context. Results show that the availability of principal prey (small mammals) was the most crucial factor affecting carnivore corridor use. Other important factors influencing corridor use were corridor width (positive), proportion of shrubs (positive) and presence of local, low-traffic, roads (positive). Single species models revealed interspecific and area-specific differences in carnivore preference at both spatial scales. Our findings confirm the general importance of multi-level approach to evaluating species-specific habitat requirements as a crucial tool for determining suitable methods for carnivore efficient conservation in human-dominated agricultural landscape. (C) 2012 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.