University of Oulu

Tikkunen, M. & Kojola, I. Mamm Res (2019) 64: 581.

Hunting dogs are at biggest risk to get attacked by wolves near wolves’ territory boundaries

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Author: Tikkunen, Mari1; Kojola, Ilpo2
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Rovaniemi, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-11-12


Wolves’ attacks on hunting dogs are a major conflict between wolves and hunters in Northern Europe. The reasons affecting the risk of wolves’ (Canis lupus) attacks on hunting dogs are poorly known. We examined whether the number of wolves in territory, the territory size, and the space use of GPS-collared wolves affected the risk of fatal attacks during hunting season in Finland. We found that attacks were more frequent within the periphery than core of the territory. Based on locations of GPS-collared wolves, wolves spent 8% (range 2–12%, n = 17) of time within the border zone (11% of the territory area) of their territory. Forty-five percent of all attacks considered (n = 11) took place within this zone which was high proportion as compared to the distribution of wolf locations. This result might reflect wolves’ motivational status to eliminate potential competitors when they are moving near territory boundaries.

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Series: Mammal research
ISSN: 2199-2401
ISSN-E: 2199-241X
ISSN-L: 2199-2401
Volume: 64
Issue: 4
Pages: 581 - 586
DOI: 10.1007/s13364-019-00444-3
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Funding: Open access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital.
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2019. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.