Spatial and temporal relationship between native mammals and free-roaming dogs in a protected area surrounded by a metropolis

Shih Ching Yen, Yu Ten Ju, Pei Jen Lee Shaner, Hsiang Ling Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

With rapid urbanization worldwide, anthropogenic impacts such as human settlements and invasive carnivores (dogs Canis familiaris, cats Felis catus) are altering spatial distributions and temporal activity patterns of native species. In this study, we focused on spatiotemporal responses of native mammals to anthropogenic impacts in a protected area surrounded by a large metropolis (i.e. Yangmingshan National Park inside Taipei-Keelung metropolis in northern Taiwan). We collected site use data of 11 mammal species (i.e. dogs, cats, nine native species) between 2012 and 2017 with a camera system comprising 121 camera sites. We quantified anthropogenic disturbances as distance to human settlements and activity levels of free-roaming dogs and cats. Species richness and occurrences of the native mammals increased with increasing distances to human settlements and decreasing activity level of dogs, with the latter having a stronger effect than the former. Diel activity overlap between native mammals and dogs was lower during April–July season, coinciding with the breeding season for several native mammals. In contrast, activity level of cats showed no relationships with species richness, occurrences or diel activities of the native mammals. This study demonstrated negative impacts of human settlements and free-roaming dogs on native mammal communities for protected areas in urban environments, and highlights dog activity as a major anthropogenic threat to wildlife.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8161
JournalScientific Reports
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 1
Externally publishedYes

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