Disease outbreaks may be important factors affecting populations of other carnivore species; however, we note that not all authors indicate a breakdown for
disease that would allow comparison – for example, disease and starvation/emaciation are often not distinguished. As a consequence of increased food and water availability in urban habitats, coupled with protection from predators, growth rate, body condition, survival and population densities of carnivores are predicted to be favoured. The presence of abundant, high-energy, non-seasonal food sources in urban areas may have a significant effect on the growth of carnivore species. Yom-Tov (2003) examined VX-809 mw museum specimens collected from Israel over 60 years (from 1945 to 2005), a
time span when human population in the country increased approximately eightfold, resulting in a significant increase in anthropogenic food sources (Yom-Tov, 2003). He recorded that, over this time, species that do not use anthropogenic food (the caracal Caracal caracal and jungle cat Felis chaus) did not significantly change in mass or size; however, wolves, golden jackals Canis aureus and striped hyaenas, which all feed from garbage dumps and make use of livestock carcasses, increased in body mass. The larger species appeared to be more capable Selleck Acalabrutinib of exploiting the extra food provided by humans (Yom-Tov, 2003). A similar pattern of size increase in skull measurements was also recorded for badger and red fox populations in Denmark from 1862 to 2000, which again could be related to altered human agriculture and therefore food sources (Yom-Tov, Yom-Tov & Baagøe, 2003). Starvation due to substantial weight loss over winter is a significant cause MTMR9 of death in skunks,
but urban skunks fare better over winter than their rural counterparts (Rosatte et al., 2010). Similarly, urban raccoons exhibit better physical condition than rural ones, possibly due to anthropogenic food (Rosatte, Power & Macinnes, 1991). Black bears in urbanized Nevada average 30% heavier than bears in rural areas due to a diet heavily supplemented by garbage (Beckmann & Lackey, 2008). Urban kit foxes demonstrate greater body mass compared with non-urban individuals (especially for juveniles) and also demonstrate different haematological characteristics (Cypher, 2010). Urban Eurasian badgers can be heavier than nearby rural badgers, presumably due to the availability of anthropogenic food (Roper 2010 and references therein). More research in this area is needed. Increased survivorship has been recorded for a number of urban carnivore species ( Table 1). Opossums are recognized as bin-raiders par excellence (Clark, 1994), and their reliance on anthropogenic sources of food is such that, in areas where one would expect their range to have been limited by the winter cold and lack of natural food, they are, in fact, well-established (Kanda, 2005).