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.
|Author Address||Department of Conservation Biology, Estacion Biologica de Donana, CSIC, Sevilla, Spain.firstname.lastname@example.org|
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