Analysis of wolf-human conflicts: implications for damage mitigation measures.
The wolf (Canis lupus) is a keystone and damage-causing carnivore species around the world. Although the species is widespread in Asia, there is limited information on its ecology and interactions with the humans in this continent. This paper presents the conditions and consequences of wolf-human conflicts in Turkey between 2002 and 2017, based on data from 234 incidents compiled from the archive of national media and ISI Web of Science. Most conflicts (90.6%) were portrayed in a negative light in the news. Most incidents (64.1%) were related to domestic animals and attacks on humans (24.8%). Mostly sheep and goats were killed by wolves (79.3% attacks on domestic animals). The wolf depredation rates were significantly higher in open lands and relatively protected corrals. Attacks on livestock were likely to happen at night and those on people during the day. The presence of livestock guarding dogs did not significantly change the wolf depredation rate. There was no significant difference among years and preventive measures against the wolf damage on livestock. A total of 58 human-wolf encounters resulted in attacks on humans and caused 12 deaths and 107 injured people. Those incidents were significantly related to rabid wolves (63.8%). To prevent rabies transmission in canids and thus rabid wolf attacks, we recommend enclosing dump sites in rural areas and vaccination of canid species especially in eastern Turkey, where wild canids and feral dogs encounter more frequently. To develop effective mitigation measures, a database which will provide conflict data should be established, and further researches for effective precautions should be supported.