Alessandro Balestrieri

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Between 2001 and 2004, 229 foxes, 36 stone martens and 48 badgers from the western Italian Alps were examined for sarcoptic mange and for gastrointestinal helminths to investigate their prevalence and geographical distribution and to point out the existence of potential interactions among them. Sarcoptic mange was observed in 25.3±2.8% SE of foxes and in(More)
We assessed the diet of pine marten (Martes martes) expanding in the heavily human-altered agricultural plain of the River Po, northern Italy. Between February 2008 and November 2009, surveys were carried out twice a week during seasonal sampling sessions of three to four consecutive weeks. To distinguish the faecal samples from those of sympatric(More)
Food habits of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) were studied in the Aosta Valley region (NW Italian Alps) and were related to the prevalence of Trichinella infection in the red fox itself and in two Mustelid species (the stone marten (Martes foina) and the badger (Meles meles)). The search of Trichinella by the automatic digestion of muscles samples led us to(More)
Although the phylogeography of European mammals has been extensively investigated since the 1990s, many studies were limited in terms of sampling distribution, the number of molecular markers used and the analytical techniques employed, frequently leading to incomplete postglacial recolonisation scenarios. The broad-scale genetic structure of the European(More)
The location of pine marten records in northern Italy suggests that main rivers may play the role of natural corridors favouring this species’ colonisation of cultivated lowlands. We assessed the distribution and habitat use by the pine marten on a 35 km long stretch of the River Ticino. Surveys were carried out between October 2011 and June 2012 along(More)
In recent years, the "forest-specialist" pine marten Martes martes has been reported to also occur also in largely fragmented, lowland landscapes of north-western Italy. The colonization of such an apparently unsuitable area provided the opportunity for investigating pine marten ecological requirements and predicting its potential south- and eastwards(More)
Many mammals, both potential competitors and preys, have been reported to use the complex burrow system of European badger Meles meles setts as shelter, mainly in northern Europe and during winter, when badgers are lethargic. Nonetheless, until recent times observations of den sharing have been largely restricted to anecdotal information, because of the(More)
Research on the feeding habits of mammalian carnivores relies mainly on the analysis of stomach contents and faecal samples, but the outcomes of these two methods have only been compared in a few studies, with contrasting conclusions. In an Alpine area of NW Italy, we analysed both fox faeces collected along standardised transects, and the stomach contents(More)
Food availability has been suggested to be the main factor shaping the altitudinal limits of species distributions. We analyzed the badger (Meles meles) diet in the western Italian Alps and, particularly, at the altitudinal limit of its range, with the main aim of highlighting any reduction in earthworm availability with altitude which could act as a(More)
The stone marten (Martes foina) and the pine marten (M. martes) are closely related mammalian carnivores potentially subject to exploitative competition. The recent expansion of the pine marten into the intensively cultivated plain of the River Po (NW Italy), where previously only stone marten occurred, offered an interesting opportunity to analyse their(More)