Potential for Grey wolf Canis lupus in the Netherlands : effects of habitat fragmentation and climate change on the carrying capacity and population dynamics

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional

Abstract

Recolonization of the Netherlands by wolves is likely to occur within 5 to 10 years, and for management reasons the habitat suitability should be understood. Therefore, I predicted the carrying capacity and population dynamics of the wolf in the Netherlands, and studied the effects of habitat fragmentation and climate change. The effects of climate change on soil processes, vegetation structure and prey abundance for wolves were simulated with the models SMART2 and SUMO2. I assessed the effects of habitat fragmentation by comparing a scenario with and without wildlife overpasses. Population dynamics were simulated applying the model METAPHOR. Due to climate change, primary productivity increased, resulting in higher prey availability. Wolf carrying capacity and population dynamics are hence positively affected by climate change, although the effect was smaller than for habitat fragmentation. The average number of adults after a 110 year model run more than doubled in the presence of overpasses compared to the scenario without. Population persistence is negatively affected by habitat fragmentation. This study indicates the importance of overpasses for carnivores, which therefore should be an integrated part of nature management.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationWageningen
PublisherAlterra, Wageningen-UR
Number of pages66
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NameAlterra-rapport
PublisherAlterra Wageningen UR
No.2349
ISSN (Print)1566-7197

Keywords

  • wolves
  • fauna
  • wildlife conservation
  • wildlife management
  • habitat fragmentation
  • orientation
  • netherlands
  • population dynamics

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