Human expansion can cause disturbance and intrusion of invasive species, which are detrimental to small carnivores. We investigated how European wildcats responded to disturbance from mushroom collectors, cattle and feral pigs in Sicily, Italy. We used detections from 76 cameras over 2 surveys (2015–2016 and 2018; camera days = 1985) to run occupancy and co-occurrence models and estimate overlap in activity patterns between species pairs. During 2015–2016, wildcats were detected at the same location with cattle, mushroom hunters and feral pigs at 14.4%, 26.3% and 17.1% of cameras. During 2018, wildcats were detected at the same location with cattle, mushroom hunters and feral pigs at 7.8%, 19.7% and 6.5% of cameras. Dominant species (A; cattle, mushroom hunters and feral pigs) did not affect occupancy of the subordinate species (B; wildcats) during 2015–2016. In 2018, the effect of species A on wildcat occupancy was evident for cattle-wildcat and mushroom hunters-wildcat pairs and wildcat occupancy was higher at sites where species A was not present. Probabilities of detecting wildcats at sites where species A was not present or not detected were higher than probabilities of detecting wildcats at sites where species A was detected. Overlap in activity levels was low between mushroom hunters and wildcats and higher between cattle and wildcats, but varied between surveys for feral pig-wildcat pair. Although results differed between survey periods, we suggest that wildcats generally avoided cattle, feral pigs and mushroom hunters, at both temporal and spatial scales. Anthropogenic disturbance, livestock and invasive species are emerging threats to wildcats and future conservation actions should consider our results.
|Numero di pagine||14|
|Rivista||European Journal of Wildlife Research|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2021|
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