Toni Romani1, Carmelinda Giannone2, Stefano Filacorda1
1 - Department of Agronomy and Enviromental Science, University of Udine, Italy.
2 - Associazione il Villaggio degli Orsi
The Friuli VeneziaGiulia region is located in the northeast of Italy, along the border with Slovenia and Austria. In this region are present some different habitats and three bioregions: Alpine, Continental and Mediterranean; these natural and seminatural environments present a high level of biodiversity, in terms of wildlife and vegetation. There are present all the continental medium and large carnivores: Brown bear (Ursus arctos), the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), the Wolf (Canis lupus), the Jackal (Canis aureus), the otter (Lutra lutra) and populations of ungulates of ibex, chamois, roe deer, red deer, wild boar, moufflon and fallow deer; the alpine areas are covered by large coniferous and deciduos forests and over the timber line, there are rocks, pastures and moorland. The alpine region is cold, snowy and with long winters, and during the summer, the weather is rainy and cool. In the continental and mediteranean bioregion, the summer is drought and the winter is wet. The aim of the study is to test an integrate different techniques to estimate the density of roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), red deer (Cervuselaphus) and boar (Sus scrofa) in respect of the different environmental conditions of the 3 different bioregions. Due to different habitats and environmental conditions, we are going to test and compare different methods: hunter spring census (with direct observation), camera trapping, faecal pellet count with distance sampling, the track count based on Russian Formozov Malyshev Pereleshin formula and observation of all direct signs (markings, grazing, carcass, trails and animal observed).
All these signs are arranged and georeferenced with CyberTracker software. Three different areas are studied: alpine (alpine bioregion) and prealpine (continental bioregion) areas and karstland (mediteranean bioregion). For each areas we have identified four different game reserves. For each game reserve we have chosen four transects of 1 kilometer long, representative of the habitats present, in which, every fifteen days and for 4 months over four season, we record all indirect signs. Ten camera traps have been placed for each area, 5 along the transects and 5 on baiting sites. For each game reserve we have been identified 10 buffers, in part coinciding with the camera traps location. We discuss the preliminary results of this approach and the limits and opportunities for each methods in relation to different environmental conditions, different species and the importance of the integrated approach.