Use of a garbage dump by some mammal species in the Majella massif (Abruzzo, Italy)
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Dipartimento di Biologia dell'Animale e dell'Uomo - Università "La Sapienza", Roma
Publish date: 1997-12-28
Hystrix It. J. Mamm. 1997;9(1-2)
Abstract In several previous works the presence of urban solid wastes in the feeding habits of some animal species has been documented. This study was carried out to discover which species visit a rubbish dump located in an area of the Majella massif. Monthly nightime direct observations, from September 1990 to May 1992, revealed the presence of dogs Canis [lupus] familiaris, domestic cats Felis [silvestris] catus, wolves Canis lupus and red foxes Vulpes vulpes. The fox was the most frequently observed species. Fox visits to the dump were distributed more continuously during the entire period of the study then the other species. An "asymmetry analysis" was carried out to find out the animals' favourite time to use the dump. The analysis produced time lag values of 02:00 A.M. to 05:00 A.M. The wolf was observed the least. During the monthly observations a similar trend between the cat and wolf came to light. The two species also visited the dump at similar times (wolf: 07:00-11:00 P.M.; cat: 05:00-10:00 P.M.). Dog visits to the dump were less continuous in comparison with other species: no preferred time was revealed. Some environmental factors, related to the geographical area and management of the dump limited waste availability. This probably had an effect on the presence of the animals.