In the last few decades, the crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata L., 1758) showed a marked range expansion in Italy. Published and unpublished material was collected to reconstruct this phenomenon. Data were gathered by means of: (i) specific papers on crested porcupine distribution and more generic books and articles, (ii) expert collaboration in various Italian regions and (iii) information from the national Vertebrates mailing list. Until the 1970s, H. cristata was only present in Central and Southern Italy, mostly in the western part. Since 1978, the porcupine has been protected by Italian national law. The species first crossed the Apennines from the Tyrrhenian coast to the Marche, where the expansion to the north may have begun, and then reached the northernmost regions. An analysis of the potential distribution of the species was performed in a species distribution modeling framework (Maxent). The model suggested a high suitability of most of the Central and Southern Italian Peninsula for H. cristata, including the two major islands. Northern Italy proved suitable for the species' establishment only in some central and western areas of the Po Valley. The core areas of the Apennines and of the Alps, as well as some areas characterized by low annual rainfall, were predicted as unsuitable. Historical and social factors related to the progressive urbanization and the consequent abandonment of the traditional land use in mountain landscapes probably helped the re-expansion of forests and uncultivated fields. Three introduced populations have been detected in Sardinia, Liguria and the province of Varese. In order to make the data collected easily consultable and to give people the opportunity to contribute to a continuous updating of the distributional map of the species, a web page dedicated to H. cristata was set up, in the framework of an open-source wildlife mapping project. © 2013 Unione Zoologica Italiana.
|Titolo:||From the Apennines to the Alps: recent range expansion of the crested porcupine Hystrix cristata L., 1758 (Mammalia: Rodentia: Hystricidae) in Italy|
MORI, EMILIANO (Corresponding)
|Citazione:||Mori, E., Sforzi, A., & Di Febbraro, M. (2013). From the Apennines to the Alps: recent range expansion of the crested porcupine Hystrix cristata L., 1758 (Mammalia: Rodentia: Hystricidae) in Italy. THE ITALIAN JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY, 80(4), 469-480.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|