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Human-related factors regulate the presence of domestic dogs in protected areas

By C. A. Soto, F. Palomares

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The presence of domestic species such as dogs Canis familiaris in protected areas can cause problems for native species as a result of competition, predation and disease transmission. To improve our ability to design effective control policies we investigated the factors affecting detection of dog tracks in a Mediterranean national park. We investigated the presence of dogs across 69 2*2 km grid squares in Donana National Park in south-west Spain and used logistic regression models to analyse the associated environmental and human constraints. We did not detect dogs in areas away from the edges of the national park close to human settlements (track census effort >470 km) and the detection of dog tracks was correlated with human presence. We conclude that domestic dogs occasionally enter the Park from the surrounding area and are a direct threat to wildlife at the edges of the Park. Management actions to reduce the effects of domestic dogs in protected areas where feral dog populations are not established should focus on the spatial extent of local settlements, regulation and awareness-raising to encourage responsible dog-ownership, and control measures such as removing un-owned dogs from boundaries and areas close to human dwellings, and forbidding unleashed dogs in public facilities.

Date 2015
Publication Title Oryx
Volume 49
Issue 2
Pages 254-260
ISBN/ISSN 0030-6053
Author Address Department of Conservation Biology, Estacion Biologica de Donana, CSIC, Sevilla,
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal diseases
  2. Animals
  3. Animals in culture
  4. Canidae
  5. Canine
  6. Carnivores
  7. Developed countries
  8. Diseases
  9. Dogs
  10. Europe
  11. Feral animals
  12. Mammals
  13. Mediterranean region
  14. native species
  15. OECD countries
  16. parks
  17. Spain
  18. vertebrates
  19. Wild animals