Advertisement

Managing invasive Siberian chipmunks Eutamias sibiricus in Italy: a matter of attitudes and risk of dispersal

  • Jacopo CerriEmail author
  • Emiliano Mori
  • Rudy Zozzoli
  • Andrea Gigliotti
  • Antony Chirco
  • Sandro Bertolino
Original Paper
  • 24 Downloads

Abstract

Eradication of invasive alien species is a form of pest control linked to biodiversity conservation, which usually involves animal killing. Squirrels are prominent among invasive alien species in Italy, with four species introduced. Three of them are included within the list of alien species of European concern, and their eradication and control is recommended. However, their local control is not an easy task, being often hindered by the general public. We propose a socio-ecological approach to evaluate the feasibility of eradicating Siberian chipmunks Eutamias sibiricus populations in Italy. We performed a structured questionnaire to assess the social perception of invasive Siberian chipmunks in urban parks, and to identify groups of visitors who might oppose eradication. We also carried out geographic profiling to test for the spatial expansion of chipmunk populations. Overall, park visitors regarded chipmunks positively and appreciated to see them, but human-chipmunk interactions were still rare. We did not identify any group of visitors with a strong attachment to chipmunks, who might oppose future control programs. Geographic profiling showed that chipmunks in Valeggio sul Mincio are starting to expand outside of their introduction site. Data from questionnaires show that chipmunks eradication, coupled with adequate communication initiatives, might be feasible. Moreover, geographic profiling indicates that time for a rapid removal is running out. Socio-ecological approaches, combining the analysis of structured questionnaires administered to stakeholders and statistical modeling of pest observations, could be a valuable tool to decide the feasibility and the urgency of invasive alien species control.

Keywords

Alien squirrels Eradication Geographic profiling Species control Socio-ecological model 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The “U.O. Manutenzione e Valorizzazione del Verde Urbano” office of the Municipality of Roma provided us with permits to set the survey within urban parks in Rome. Authors would like to thank Davide Sogliani, who kindly helped in the fieldwork, Rocco Tiberti for recommendations, and Giulia Benassi, who provided them with data from previous surveys about chipmunk presence in Rome. Two anonymous reviewers provided us with useful comments, which improved our MS.

Author’s contribution

JC: Major contribution in the conception and design of the study, altogether with the analysis and interpretation of data and with manuscript drafting; EM: Conception and design of the study, data collection and interpretation of the data. Important contribution in manuscript editing; RZ: Conception and design of the study, data acquisition on the field, intellectual role in manuscript revision; AG, AC: Data acquisition on the field, data intepretation, intellectual role in manuscript revision; SB: Conception and design of the study, analysis and interpretation of data and manuscript drafting.

Supplementary material

10530_2019_2115_MOESM1_ESM.csv (24 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (CSV 24 kb)
10530_2019_2115_MOESM2_ESM.docx (38 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 37 kb)

References

  1. Auspurg K, Hinz T (2014) Factorial survey experiments, vol 175. Sage Publications, Newcastle upon TyneGoogle Scholar
  2. Benassi G, Bertolino S (2011) Distribution and activity of the introduced Siberian chipmunk (Laxmann 1769) in an urban park in Rome, Italy. Mammalia 75:87–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bertolino S (2008) Introduction of the American grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) in Europe: a case study in biological invasion. Curr Sci 95:903–906Google Scholar
  4. Bertolino S, Genovesi P (2003) Spread and attempted eradication of the grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) in Italy, and consequences for the red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) in Eurasia. Biol Cons 109:351–358CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bertolino S, Lurz PWW, Shuttleworth GM, Martinoli A, Wauters LA (2016) The management of grey squirrels populations in Europe: evolving best practice. In: Shuttleworth C, Lurz P, Gurnell J (eds) The grey squirrel: ecology & management of an invasive species in Europe, European Squirrel Initiative. Woodbridge, Suffolk, pp 495–515Google Scholar
  6. Bertuzzi N (2019) Contemporary animal advocacy in Italy. Modern Italy 24:1–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bicchieri C (2016) Norms in the wild: How to diagnose, measure, and change social norms. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  8. Blackburn TM, Pettorelli N, Katzner T, Gompper ME, Mock K, Garner TWJ, Altwegg R, Redpath S, Gordon IJ (2010) Dying for conservation: eradicating invasive alien species in the face of opposition. Anim Cons 13:227–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bomford M, O’Brien P (1995) Eradication or control for vertebrate pests? Wildl Soc Bull 23:249–255Google Scholar
  10. Cerri J, Batisti G, Ferretti M, Zaccaroni M, Bertolino S (2018) Hunters’ preferences for engaging in control programs of introduced Eastern cottontails in Italy: a factorial survey approach. Eur J Wildl Res 64:21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chong D, Druckman JN (2007) Framing theory. Annu Rev Pol Sci 10:103–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Crowley SL, Hinchliffe S, McDonald RA (2017a) Conflict in invasive species management. Front Ecol Environ 15:133–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Crowley SL, Hinchliffe S, McDonald RA (2017b) Invasive species management will benefit from social impact assessment. J Appl Ecol 54:351–357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Crowley SL, Hinchliffe S, McDonald RA (2018) Killing squirrels: exploring motivations and practices of lethal wildlife management. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space 1(1–2):120–143Google Scholar
  15. Curtis V, Aunger R, Rabie T (2004) Evidence that disgust evolved to protect from risk of disease. Proc R Soc Lond B 271:S131–S133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Davey GC, Macdonald BA, Brierley L (2008) The effect of disgust on anxiety ratings to fear-relevant, disgust-relevant and fear-irrelevant stimuli. J Anx Disord 22:1347–1354CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Di Febbraro M, Martinoli A, Russo D, Preatoni D, Bertolino S (2016) Modelling the effects of climate change on the risk of invasion by alien squirrels. Hystrix 27:22–29Google Scholar
  18. Di Febbraro M, Menchetti M, Russo D, Ancillotto L, Aloise G, Roscioni F, Preatoni DG, Loy A, Martinoli A, Bertolino S, Mori E (2019) Integrating climate and land–use change scenarios in modelling the future spread of invasive squirrels in Italy. Divers Distrib 25:644–659CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dunn TJ, Baguley T, Brunsden V (2014) From alpha to omega: a practical solution to the pervasive problem of internal consistency estimation. Brit J Psychol 105:399–412PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Dunn M, Marzano M, Forster J, Gill RM (2018) Public attitudes towards “pest” management: perceptions on squirrel management strategies in the UK. Biol Cons 222:52–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Faulkner SC, Stevenson MD, Verity R, Mustari AH, Semple S, Tosh DG, Le Comber SC (2015) Using geographic profiling to locate elusive nocturnal animals: a case study with spectral tarsiers. J Zool (Lond) 295:261–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Faulkner SC, Verity R, Roberts D, Roy SS, Robertson PA, Stevenson MD, Le Comber SC (2017) Using geographic profiling to compare the value of sightings vs trap data in a biological invasion. Divers Distrib 23:104–112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Frank B, Glikman JA, Sutherland M, Bath AJ (2016) Predictors of extreme negative feelings toward coyote in Newfoundland. Hum Dim Wildl 21:297–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Galbraith JA, Jones DN, Beggs JR, Parry K, Stanley MC (2017) Urban bird feeders dominated by a few species and individuals. Front Ecol Evol 5:81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gálvez N, Guillera-Arroita G, St. John FA, Schüttler E, Macdonald DW, Davies ZG (2018) A spatially integrated framework for assessing socioecological drivers of carnivore decline. J Appl Ecol 55:1393–1405PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Genovesi P, Bertolino S (2001) Human dimension aspects in invasive alien species issues: the case of the failure of the grey squirrel eradication project in Italy. In: McNeely JA (ed) The great reshuffling: human dimensions of invasive Alien species. IUCN, Gland, pp 113–119Google Scholar
  27. Heberlein TA (2012) Navigating environmental attitudes. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Howe LC, Krosnick JA (2017) Attitude strength. Annu Rev Psychol 68:327–351PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Jacobs MH (2012) Human emotions toward wildlife. Hum Dim Wildl 17:1–3CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Jacobs MH, Vaske JJ, Roemer JM (2012) Toward a mental systems approach to human relationships with wildlife: the role of emotional dispositions. Hum Dim Wildl 17:4–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Jacobs MH, Vaske JJ, Dubois S, Fehres P (2014) More than fear: role of emotions in acceptability of lethal control of wolves. Eur J Wildl Res 60:589–598CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kassambara A (2017) Practical guide to cluster analysis in R. CreateSpace, North CharlestonGoogle Scholar
  33. Krumpal I (2013) Determinants of social desirability bias in sensitive surveys: a literature review. Qual Quant 47:2025–2047CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Larson LR, Cooper CB, Hauber ME (2016) Emotions as drivers of wildlife stewardship behavior: examining citizen science nest monitors’ responses to invasive house sparrows. Hum Dim Wildl 21:18–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lewis CL, Granek EF, Nielsen-Pincus M (2019) Assessing local attitudes and perceptions of non-native species to inform management of novel ecosystems. Biol Invasions 21:961–982CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Loy A, Aloise G, Ancillotto L, Angelici F M, Bertolino S, Capizzi D, Castiglia R, Colangelo P, Contoli L, Cozzi B, Fontaneto D, Lapini L, Maio N, Monaco A, Mori E, Nappi A, Podestà MA, Sarà M, Scandura M, Russo D, Amori G (2019) Mammals of Italy: an annotated checklist. Hystrix (in press)Google Scholar
  37. Mackay M, Jennings S, van Putten EI, Sibly H, Yamazaki S (2018) When push comes to shove in recreational fishing compliance, think ‘nudge’. Mar Pol 95:256–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Manfredo MJ (2008) Who cares about wildlife?. Springer, New York, pp 1–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Manfredo MJ, Teel TL, Henry KL (2009) Linking society and environment: a multilevel model of shifting wildlife value orientations in the western United States. Social Sci Quart 90:407–427CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Marmet J, Pisanu B, Chapuis JL (2009) Home range, range overlap, and site fidelity of introduced Siberian chipmunks in a suburban French forest. Eur J Wildl Res 55:497–504CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Marmet J, Pisanu B, Chapuis JL (2011) Natal dispersal of introduced Siberian chipmunks, Tamias sibiricus, in a suburban forest. J Ethol 29:23–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Marsot M, Chapuis JL, Gasqui P, Dozières A, Massèglia S, Pisanu B, Ferquel E, Vourc’h G (2013) Introduced Siberian chipmunks (Tamias sibiricus barberi) contribute more to Lyme borreliosis risk than native reservoir rodents. PLoS ONE 8:e55377PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Martin RA, Rossmo DK, Hammerschlag N (2009) Hunting patterns and geographic profiling of white shark predation. J Zool (Lond) 279:111–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. McNeely JA (2001) The great reshuffling: human dimensions of invasive alien species. The great reshuffling: human dimensions of invasive alien species. In: Workshop on the Human Dimensions of Invasive Alien Species, Cape Town, ZA, 15–17 September 2000, pp 213–237Google Scholar
  45. Mori E, Zozzoli R, Menchetti M (2018a) Global distribution and status of introduced Siberian chipmunks Eutamias sibiricus. Mamm Rev 48:139–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Mori E, Pisanu B, Zozzoli R, Solano E, Olivieri E, Sassera D, Montagna M (2018b) Arthropods and associated pathogens from native and introduced rodents in Northeastern Italy. Parasitol Res 117:3237–3243PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Mori E, Zozzoli R, Mazza G (2018c) Coming in like a wrecking-ball: are native Eurasian red squirrels displacing invasive Siberian chipmunks? A study from an urban park. Urban Ecos 21:975–981CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Mori E, Milanesi P, Menchetti M, Zozzoli R, Monaco A, Capizzi D, Nerva L (2018d) Genetics reveals that free-ranging chipmunks introduced to Italy have multiple origins. Hystrix 29:239–242Google Scholar
  49. Mori E, Menchetti M, Zozzoli R, Milanesi P (2019) The importance of taxonomy in species distribution models at a global scale: the case of an overlooked alien squirrel facing taxonomic revision. J Zool (Lond) 307:43–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Nilsson NJ (2014) Understanding beliefs. MIT Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Pisanu B, Marsot M, Marmet J, Chapuis JL, Reale D, Vourc’h G (2010) Introduced Siberian chipmunks are more heavily infested by ixodid ticks than are native bank voles in a suburban forest in France. Int J Parasitol 40:1277–1283PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Pluess T, Cannon R, Jarošík V, Pergl J, Pyšek P, Bacher S (2012) When are eradication campaigns successful? A test of common assumptions. Biol Invasions 14:1365–1378CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Prokop P, Usak M, Fančovičová J (2010) Risk of parasite transmission influences perceived vulnerability to disease and perceived danger of disease-relevant animals. Behav Proc 85:52–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. R Core Team (2018) R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, ViennaGoogle Scholar
  55. Raine NE, Rossmo DK, Le Comber SC (2008) Geographic profiling applied to testing models of bumble-bee foraging. J R Soc Interface 6:307–319PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Robertson PA, Adriaens T, Lambin X, Mill A, Roy S, Shuttleworth CM, Sutton-Croft M (2016) The large-scale removal of mammalian invasive alien species in Northern Europe. Pest Manag Sci 73:273–279PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Rucker DD, Petty RE, Briñol P (2008) What’s in a frame anyway? A meta-cognitive analysis of the impact of one versus two sided message framing on attitude certainty. J Cons Psychol 18:137–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Scapin P, Ulbano M, Ruggiero C, Balduzzi A, Marsan A, Ferrari N, Bertolino S (2019) Surgical sterilization of male and female grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) of an urban population introduced in Italy. J Vet Med Sci 81:641–645PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Sharp RL, Larson LR, Green GT (2011) Factors influencing public preferences for invasive alien species management. Biol Cons 144:2097–2104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Shine R, Doody JS (2011) Invasive species control: understanding conflicts between researchers and the general community. Front Ecol Environm 9:400–406CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Struebig MJ, Linkie M, Deere NJ, Martyr DJ, Millyanawati B, Faulkner SC, Le Comber SC, Mangunjaya FM, Leader-Williams N, McKay JE, John FAVS (2018) Addressing human-tiger conflict using socio-ecological information on tolerance and risk. Nat Commun 9:3455PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Verity R, Stevenson MD, Rossmo DK, Nichols RA, Le Comber SC (2014) Spatial targeting of infectious disease control: identifying multiple, unknown sources. Method Ecol Evol 5:647–655CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Zozzoli R, Menchetti M, Mori E (2018) Spatial behaviour of an overlooked alien squirrel: the case of Siberian chipmunks Eutamias sibiricus. Behav Proc 153:107–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca AmbientaleLeghornItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Scienze della VitaUniversità degli Studi di SienaSienaItaly
  3. 3.Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, della Vita e della Sostenibilità AmbientaleUniversità degli Studi di ParmaParmaItaly
  4. 4.Dipartimento di Scienze delle Produzioni Animali e dell’AmbienteUniversità degli Studi di FirenzeFlorenceItaly
  5. 5.Dipartimento di BiologiaUniversità degli Studi di FirenzeSesto FiorentinoItaly
  6. 6.Dipartimento di SCienze della Vita e Biologia dei SistemiUniversità degli Studi di TorinoTurinItaly

Personalised recommendations