Please find details below of a new article added to our Bibliography:
Title: Effects of free-ranging livestock on occurrence and interspecific interactions of a mammalian community
Author: Salvatori, M., Oberosler, V., Augugliaro, C., Krofel, M., Rovero, F.
Abstract: Mammalian communities inhabiting temperate grasslands are of conservation concern globally, especially in Central Asia, where livestock numbers have dramatically increased in recent decades, leading to overgrazing and land-use change. Yet, how this pervasive presence of livestock herds affects the community of wild mammals remains largely unstudied. We used systematic camera trapping at 216 sites across remote, mountainous areas of the Mongolian Altai Mountains to assess the spatial and temporal patterns of occurrence and the interspecific relationships within a mammalian community that includes different categories of livestock. By adopting a recently proposed multispecies occupancy model that incorporates interspecific correlation in occupancy, we found several statistically strong correlations in occupancy among species pairs, with the majority involving livestock. The sign of such associations was markedly species-dependent, with larger wild species of conservation c
oncern, namely, snow leopard and Siberian ibex, avoiding livestock presence. As predicted, we found evidence of a positive correlation in occupancy between predators and their respective main prey. Contrary to our expectations, a number of intraguild species pairs also showed positive co-occurrence, with no evidence of spatiotemporal niche partitioning. Overall, our study suggests that livestock encroaching into protected areas influences the whole local community of wild mammals. Though pastoralism has coexisted with wildlife for millennia in central Asian grasslands, our findings suggest that policies and practices to decrease the pressure of livestock husbandry on wildlife are needed, with special attention on large species, such as the snow leopard and its wild prey, which seem to be particularly sensitive to this pervasive livestock presence.