Using data from the National Wolf Census, carried out in Poland in 2000–2001, and GIS techniques we analysed habitat selection by wolvesCanis lupus Linnaeus, 1758 in uplands and mountains of southern Poland. We compared ten habitat variables and two parameters related to wolf abundance in 52 circular plots (154 km2 each) with recorded wolves and 97 randomly selected plots with no signs of wolf presence. Wolf plots were characterized by higher elevation and closer location to the state border than wolf-free plots. Furthermore, wolf plots had higher forest cover, but smaller number of villages and towns and shorter railways and roads than plots without wolves. The best model explaining wolf distribution included forest cover, number of villages, length of roads and railway lines. Compared to northern Poland, the southern part of the country offers worse habitats for wolves due to significantly denser network of settlements and transportation routes.
Acta Theriologica – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 12, 2010
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