How Does a Carnivore Guild Utilise a Substantial but Unpredictable Anthropogenic Food Source? Scavenging on Hunter-Shot Ungulate Carcasses by Wild Dogs/Dingoes, Red Foxes and Feral Cats in South-Eastern Australia Revealed by Camera Traps
David M Forsyth, Luke Woodford, Paul D Moloney, Jordan O Hampton, Andrew P Woolnough, Mark Tucker
PLoS One | PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE | Published : 2014
There is much interest in understanding how anthropogenic food resources subsidise carnivore populations. Carcasses of hunter-shot ungulates are a potentially substantial food source for mammalian carnivores. The sambar deer (Rusa unicolor) is a large (≥ 150 kg) exotic ungulate that can be hunted throughout the year in south-eastern Australia, and hunters are not required to remove or bury carcasses. We investigated how wild dogs/dingoes and their hybrids (Canis lupus familiaris/dingo), red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and feral cats (Felis catus) utilised sambar deer carcasses during the peak hunting seasons (i.e. winter and spring). We placed carcasses at 1-km intervals along each of six transect..View full abstract
The work presented was funded by the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries (www.depi.vic.gov.au). The funder had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript, other than in the form of four of the authors being employees within the organisation.