Experiences obtained from camera trapping the European Wildcat in Sicily (Italy)
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Dipartimento di Biologia Animale, Università di Catania
Dipartimento di Biologia Cellulare e Ambientale, University of Perugia Via Elce di Sotto, 06123 Perugia (Italy)
Publish date: 2009-11-09
Hystrix It. J. Mamm. 2009;20(1)
The wildcat is an elusive species that is threatened with extinction in many areas of its European distribution. In Sicily the wildcat lives in a wide range of habitats and this work was done on the Etna volcano. In the 2006, after an exploration of the study area, we used camera traps with the aim to obtain pictures of the wildcat. We conducted our experiment during two periods (April 11 to August 8 - September 26 to December 16) and we used an attractant only in the first period. Twelve of the eighteen trapping stations provided a total of 24 pictures of wildcats. 9 different wildcats were identified using natural-coat marking system and morphological criteria on an area of 660 ha. Our work remarks the goodness of the camera trapping in the monitoring of wildcat’s population, as it has been successfully used for many other felids in recent years.