Data from: Competition between sympatric wolf taxa: an example involving African and Ethiopian Wolves
Gutema, Tariku Mekonnen et al. (2018), Data from: Competition between sympatric wolf taxa: an example involving African and Ethiopian Wolves, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.vj2nn
Carnivore populations are declining globally due to range contraction, persecution and prey depletion. One consequence of these patterns is increased range and niche overlap with other carnivores, and thus an elevated potential for competitive exclusion. Here we document competition between an endangered canid, the Ethiopian wolf (EW), and the newly discovered African wolf (AW) in central Ethiopia. The diet of the ecological specialist EW was dominated by rodents whereas the AW consumed more diverse diet also including insects and non-rodent mammals. EWs used predominantly intact habitat whereas AWs used mostly areas disturbed by humans and their livestock. Still, we observed 82 encounters between the two species, of which 94% were agonistic. The outcomes of agonistic encounters followed a territory-specific dominance pattern, with EWs dominating in intact habitat and AWs in human-disturbed areas. For AWs, the likelihood of winning encounters also increased with group size. Trapping data indicated that rodent species consumed by EWs were also available in the human-disturbed areas, suggesting that these areas could be suitable habitat for EWs if AWs were not territorially dominant there. Increasing human encroachment not only affects the prey base of EWs, but also may impact their survival by intensifying competition with sympatric AWs.