Journal of Biodiversity & Endangered Species

ISSN: 2332-2543

Open Access

Going to the Dogs: Free-Ranging Domestic Dogs Threaten an Endangered Wild Canid through Competitive Interactions


Laura Rebecca Perry, Jorgelina Marino, Claudio Sillero-Zubiri

Domestic dogs threaten wildlife globally, especially other canids. The spread of infectious disease from dogs threatens Ethiopian wolves, via interference and exploitation competition. Despite increasing threats to wildlife from dogs, competition between dogs and wild carnivores is relatively unstudied. This study seeks to understand the behavior and habitat use of free-ranging dogs in the Bale Mountains National Park, Ethiopia, and their interactions with other park users, through focal animal follows totaling > 150 hours. Dogs used the same areas as wolves, foraged throughout wolf habitat, and aggressively interacted with wolves in their territories. Wolves were actively displaced from foraging grounds by dogs, with dogs chasing wolves both while foraging alone or when moving with livestock. Direct competition for small mammals was not sustained by these results. Female dogs may make less extensive use of wolf range; they covered significantly less distance and interacted less aggressively with wolves. Domestic dogs are increasingly present in protected areas around the globe, and this study documents their negative impact on wild carnivores—both through direct interaction and use of habitat – highlighting the implications of dog presence for wildlife conservation.


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