A3 Wolmar

A Spatial Investigation of Wolf-Human Conflict in Turkey Based on MaxEnt Model


Alper Erturk
Selim Süalp Çağlar


Large carnivores around the world are under increasing threat due to the human-induced factors according to the recent IUCN report. Through their high dispersal capability, large carnivores generally occupy extensive range of areas and dominate different type of habitats. On the other hand, decreasing habitat quality and available prey density compel this group of animals to inhabit semi-natural habitats and this phenomenon gives rise to human-carnivore conflict to occur. Being one of the most widespread large carnivores of the world, wolves normally prefer natural habitats and hesitate from human settlements similar to the other animals who belong to this group. However, wolves have become one of the iconic species of human-carnivore conflict in the regions where they exist. Co-existence of gray wolf and human in a region triggers the conflict via direct attacks on humans, or damage on livestock and shepherd dogs. In Turkey, despite the direct attacks on individuals are very rare, human perception of wolves is generally negative due to the economic cost of wolf-related livestock depredation. This situation is the main struggle for conservation efforts which are directed towards the gray wolves in Turkey. In this study, in order to evaluate the wolf-human conflict, which is one of the top priority issues to be resolved for sustainable management and to take protective measures for the wolf populations, the possible triggering parameters and conflict records have been examined. In this context, we have constructed a MaxEnt model using 12 parameters as predictive variables and n=309 locations of wolf attacks gathered from whole Turkey as conflict records. As a result of the study we established a risk map for Turkey and it has been revealed which factors triggered the conflict at the countrywide scale. The  obtained output showed that the wolf-human conflict in Eastern Anatolia has reached high risk values and the risk of conflict depends largely on altitude, land use pattern and road network density whereas the livestock density were contributed model output at almost insignificant level surprisingly. It is envisaged that the outputs of this study will contribute to the implementations carried out on the gray wolf population within the scope of species conservation and action plans conducted to manage wolf-human conflict.