Thomas Newsome

Home » 2016 » May

Monthly Archives: May 2016

2016 Update – Book and New Papers

It’s been a while since my last post, but a lot has happened in 2016. Three exciting updates are outlined below.

Update 1: Book Release

You can view a copy of the promotional material, including how to pre-order a copy of my new book “The Red Kangaroo in Central Australia: An Early Account by AE Newsome” HERE



Update 2: New Paper – Food Habits of the World’s Grey Wolves

In this paper we provide the first comprehensive review of grey wolf diets around the world. Below is a copy of abstract, and you can view the paper HERE


1.  Grey wolves (Canis lupus) have been studied extensively, but there has been no detailed review of the species’ feeding ecology. This is despite growing debate about how to conserve wolf populations while limiting their impacts on wild or domestic ungulates. Here, we assess the extent to which grey wolf diet varies among and within North America, Europe and Asia. We discuss the implications of the results for conservation and management.

2.  We derived dietary data from searches of published literature. We grouped studies based on their bioregional location. We compared grey wolf diet among locations using nonmetric multidimensional scaling and analysis of similarity. We assessed whether increased human impacts would decrease grey wolf dietary diversity. Finally, using studies from southern Europe, we assessed whether the proportion of wild ungulates in grey wolf diet increased over time, coincident with a decline in domestic species in grey wolf diet over time.

3.  We compiled dietary data from 177 studies incorporating 94,607 scat and stomach samples. Grey wolf diet was dominated by large (240-650 kg) and medium-sized (23-130 kg) wild ungulates, but variation in the proportion of wild ungulates consumed, along with high proportions of domestic and smaller prey species consumed, contributed to the dietary differences found among and within continents.

4.  We found no evidence that grey wolf dietary diversity varies globally. However, the result from southern Europe suggests that grey wolves may switch their diets away from domestic species if more wild ungulates are available.

5.  The diversity of prey consumed by grey wolves highlights that the species is capable of surviving dramatic anthropogenic upheaval. However, there is an urgent need to increase our understanding of grey wolf foraging ecology in human-dominated landscapes to determine whether restoration of depleted prey populations, coupled with effective damage-prevention measures, will reduce human-wolf conflicts.



Update 3: New Paper – Our Take on the Trophy Hunting Debate

In their recent article ‘Banning Trophy Hunting Will Exacerbate Biodiversity Loss’ Di Minin et al. presented a set of arguments in support of trophy hunting (i.e. killing animals for sport). They suggested that trophy hunting will benefit biodiversity (i.e., the number of plant and animal species in an area) through several main mechanisms, including (i) increased funding for conservation; (ii) a smaller carbon footprint compared with ecotourism; and (iii) the emphasis on maintaining large wildlife populations. In reply to this article we argue that these justifications do not go deep enough into the direct and indirect mechanisms that affect native plant and animal species and ecosystems. In addition to potential social, economic, and ethical issues, we argue that greater consideration of the ecological and evolutionary effects of trophy hunting is required to fully evaluate it as a conservation tool. You can view our reply HERE and a rebuttal by Di Minin et al. HERE. Thanks Di Minin et al. for the robust debate. Is the jury still out? I will let you all decide.

By Lord Mountbatten – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,