Anadolu Canis lupus L.1758 (Kurt) Türünün Alansal Ekolojisi ve Populasyon Yapısının Araştırılması
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The large mammal species, that constitute a significant part of Anatolia's high biodiversity are a group that needs to be protected primarily because it is threatened in this region as well as all over the world. Among these species the wolf has wide distribution in Anatolia and plays a key role in the ecosystems as being one of the primary predator species. Although the wolves known to have a viable population in Anatolia, the greatest threat on populations is human pressure. Within the scope of this thesis study, the wolf population in Turkey has been studied with different approaches both in the region and the country, and studies have been carried out on the spatial ecology and the existing population structure. Long-term camera-trap surveys were conducted in the protected areas in Kastamonu province, to evaluate the parameters such as habitat use, activity patterns and the relationship between the wolf and its potential prey species. The results indicates that there is a significant temporal relationship with the wolf and two preys, red deer and wild boar. In the scope of the thesis, a current distribution map of the species was established by using the model approach which is questioned with the current distribution data of natural factors and other determinants known to be directly influenced on the distribution of the species. In addition, environmental factors that play an active role in the emergence of the distribution have been evaluated. As a result the current distribution of the species has been updated, especially in Thrace and Southeastern Anatolia, and the resultant distribution has been found to be largely dependent on elevation, richness of the potential prey resources and human impact. Additionally, in order to minimize the human - wolf conflict, which is one of the top priority issues to be resolved for sustainable management and to take protective measures for the wolves population, the parameters that reveal the conflict have been examined. In this context, as a result of this constructed model, a human - wolf conflict risk map has been established in Turkey and it has been revealed which factors triggered the human - wolf conflict in countrywide. The output obtained here demonstrates that the human-wolf conflict in Eastern Anatolia has reached high risk values and the risk of conflict is largely due to altitude, land use and road network density. At the last phase of the study, the current structure of the population distributed throughout Turkey was questioned using microsatellite DNA markers. Genetic diversity and genetic variation analyzes were performed on 12 microsatellite loci of DNA samples (n = 35) obtained from individuals in different regions in the number and quality that can represent the existing wolf population. As a result of this study, Anatolian Diagonal, which shaped Anatolian biogeography to a significant extent, has been determined to be effective on wolf population structure as it is for many species. It is envisaged that the outputs will contribute to the studies carried out on the wolves within the scope of species protection and action plans conducted throughout the country, such as the distribution and population structure in Turkey, the human-wolf conflict risk map and the relation with the prey species at the regional scale.