• A systematic survey of the integration of animal behavior into conservation

      Berger-Tal, Oded; Blumstein, Daniel T.; Carroll, Scott; Fisher, Robert N.; Mesnick, Sarah L.; Owen, Megan A.; Saltz, David; St. Clair, Colleen Cassady; Swaisgood, Ronald R. (2016)
      The role of behavioral ecology in improving wildlife conservation and management has been the subject of much recent debate. We sought to answer 2 foundational questions about the current use of behavioral knowledge in conservation: To what extent is behavioral knowledge used in wildlife conservation and management, and how does the use of animal behavior differ among conservation fields in both frequency and types of use? We searched the literature for intersections between key fields of animal behavior and conservation and created a systematic heat map (i.e., graphical representation of data where values are represented as colors) to visualize relative efforts. Some behaviors, such as dispersal and foraging, were commonly considered (mean [SE] of 1147.38 [353.11] and 439.44 [108.85] papers per cell, respectively). In contrast, other behaviors, such as learning, social, and antipredatory behaviors were rarely considered (mean [SE] of 33.88 [7.62], 44.81 [10.65], and 22.69 [6.37] papers per cell, respectively). In many cases, awareness of the importance of behavior did not translate into applicable management tools. Our results challenge previous suggestions that there is little association between the fields of behavioral ecology and conservation and reveals tremendous variation in the use of different behaviors in conservation. We recommend that researchers focus on examining underutilized intersections of behavior and conservation themes for which preliminary work shows a potential for improving conservation and management, translating behavioral theory into applicable and testable predictions, and creating systematic reviews to summarize the behavioral evidence within the behavior-conservation intersections for which many studies exist.
    • Behavior coding and ethogram of Guizhou snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus brelichi)

      Cui, Duoying; Niu, K.; Tan, Chia L.; Yang, M.; Zhang, Y.; Zhang, J.; Yang, Y. (2014)
      We observed the behavior processes and habitats of free-ranging Guizhou snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus brelichi) in Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve (FNNR) and captive Guizhousnub-nosed monkeys in Wildlife Rescue Center in FNNR and Beijing Zoo from October 2009 to April 2014…. We found that there were some behavioral differences among Guizhou snub-nosed monkey, Sichuan snub-nosed monkey and Yunnan snub-nosed monkey in individual and social behaviors, and these might be related to the different habitats.
    • Diet‐tissue stable isotope (Δ 13C and Δ 15N) discrimination factors for multiple tissues from terrestrial reptiles

      Steinitz Ronnie; Lemm, Jeffrey M.; Pasachnik, Stesha A.; Kurle, Carolyn M. (2015)
      Rationale Stable isotope analysis is a powerful tool for reconstructing trophic interactions to better understand drivers of community ecology. Taxon?specific stable isotope discrimination factors contribute to the best use of this tool. We determined the first ?13C and ?15N values for Rock Iguanas (Cyclura spp.) to better understand isotopic fractionation and estimate wild reptile foraging ecology. Methods The ?13C and ?15N values between diet and skin, blood, and scat were determined from juvenile and adult iguanas held for 1 year on a known diet. We measured relationships between iguana discrimination factors and size/age and quantified effects of lipid extraction and acid treatment on stable isotope values from iguana tissues. Isotopic and elemental compositions were determined by Dumas combustion using an elemental analyzer coupled to an isotope ratio mass spectrometer using standards of known composition. Results The ?13C and ?15N values ranged from ?2.5 to +6.5? and +2.2 to +7.5?, respectively, with some differences among tissues and between juveniles and adults. The ?13C values from blood and skin differed among species, but not the ?15N values. The ?13C values from blood and skin and ?15N values from blood were positively correlated with size/age. The ?13C values from scat were negatively correlated with size (not age). Treatment with HCl (scat) and lipid extraction (skin) did not affect the isotope values. Conclusions These results should aid in the understanding of processes driving stable carbon and nitrogen isotope discrimination factors in reptiles. We provide estimates of ?13C and ?15N values and linear relationships between iguana size/age and discrimination factors for the best interpretation of wild reptile foraging ecology. Copyright ? 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    • Effects of artificial light at night on the foraging behavior of an endangered nocturnal mammal

      Shier, Debra M.; Bird, Alicia K.; Wang, Thea B. (2020)
      ...The endangered Stephens’ kangaroo rat (SKR), Dipodomys stephensi, is a nocturnal rodent threatened by habitat destruction from urban expansion. The degree to which ALAN impacts their recovery is unknown....
    • Environmental variability supports chimpanzee behavioural diversity

      Kalan, Ammie K.; Kulik, Lars; Arandjelovic, Mimi; Boesch, Christophe; Haas, Fabian; Dieguez, Paula; Barratt, Christopher D.; Abwe, Ekwoge E.; Agbor, Anthony; Angedakin, Samuel; et al. (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2020)
      Large brains and behavioural innovation are positively correlated, species-specific traits, associated with the behavioural flexibility animals need for adapting to seasonal and unpredictable habitats. Similar ecological challenges would have been important drivers throughout human evolution. However, studies examining the influence of environmental variability on within-species behavioural diversity are lacking despite the critical assumption that population diversification precedes genetic divergence and speciation. Here, using a dataset of 144 wild chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) communities, we show that chimpanzees exhibit greater behavioural diversity in environments with more variability — in both recent and historical timescales. Notably, distance from Pleistocene forest refugia is associated with the presence of a larger number of behavioural traits, including both tool and non-tool use behaviours. Since more than half of the behaviours investigated are also likely to be cultural, we suggest that environmental variability was a critical evolutionary force promoting the behavioural, as well as cultural diversification of great apes.
    • Everybody loses: intraspecific competition induces tragedy of the commons in Allenby's gerbils

      Berger-Tal, Oded; Embar, Keren; Kotler, Burt P.; Saltz, David (2015)
      Interference competition may lead to a tragedy of the commons in which individuals driven by self‐interest reduce the fitness of the entire group. We investigated this hypothesis in Allenby's gerbils, Gerbillus andersoni allenbyi , by comparing foraging behaviors of single vs. pairs of gerbils....
    • Everything you want to know about the giant panda

      Swaisgood, Ronald R. (2015)
      Book review of Pan, Wenshi, Lu Zhi, Zhu Xiaojian, Wang Dajun, Wang Hao, Long Yu, Fu Dali, and Zhou Xin. 2014 (Chinese edition, 2001). A chance for lasting survival: ecology and behavior of wild giant pandas. Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, Washington, D.C. xx þ 349 p. $39.95, ISBN: 978-1-935623-17-5 (alk. paper).
    • Foraging ecologies of giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) and camels (Camelus dromedarius) in northern Kenya: effects of habitat structure and possibilities for competition?

      O'Connor, David; Butt, Bilal; Foufopoulos, Johannes B. (2015)
      …The foraging ecologies of reticulated giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) and domestic camels (Camelus dromedarius) were examined in the Laikipia District of Kenya, where these species have recently become sympatric…. These findings have important implications in achieving the twin objectives of wildlife conservation and pastoralist livestock production in northern Kenya.
    • Functional habitat heterogeneity and large herbivore seasonal habitat selection in Northern Botswana

      Fynn, Richard W.S.; Chase, Michael J.; Röder, Achim (2014)
      This study aimed to determine the functional seasonal attributes for herbivores of the major habitats and landscapes of the Savuti-Mababe-Linyanti ecosystem (SMLE) of northern Botswana and how various herbivore species responded to this heterogeneity. Floodplain grasslands and dambo grasslands provided the only significant green forage and biomass during the late dry season, whereas short grasslands of the Mababe Depression provided the highest forage quality of all habitats during the wet season....
    • Past experiences and future expectations generate context-dependent costs of foraging

      Berger-Tal, Oded; Embar, Keren; Kotler, Burt P.; Saltz, David (2014)
      We released Allenby’s gerbils (Gerbillus andersoni allenbyi) into an enclosure containing rich patches with equal amounts of food and manipulated the quality of the environment over time by reducing the amount of food in most (but not all) food patches and then increasing it again…. Specifically, in the second rich period, the gerbils spent more time foraging and harvested more food from the patches. Thus, seemingly identical environments can be treated as strikingly different by foragers as a function of their past experiences and future expectations.
    • Recursive movement patterns: Review and synthesis across species

      Berger-Tal, Oded; Bar-David, Shirli (2015)
      Recursive movement—returns to previously visited areas—is a widespread phenomenon exhibited by a large range of species from bees and birds to primates and large felines, at different spatial scales. Nevertheless, the wide scope and generality of this phenomenon remain underestimated by the scientific community. This limited appreciation for the pervasiveness of recursive movement can be attributed to its study by parallel lines of research, with different methodologies and nomenclature, and almost no cross referencing among them. Among these lines of studies are traplining behavior in foraging ecology, path recursions in movement ecology and the ecology of fear in predator–prey studies. We synthesize these three lines of research, to underline the mechanisms driving these patterns and create a conceptual model for recursive movement behavior across species and spatio-temporal scales. The emergence and complexity of recursive movement patterns are determined by the rate of resource recovery, environmental heterogeneity, the predictability of resource recovery, and the animal's cognitive capabilities. Our synthesis can be used to generate predictions within and among systems, as well as to promote the sharing of knowledge and methodologies gained in each sub-field. Such sharing can greatly advance our understanding of behavioral and ecological processes and provide novel opportunities for future research.
    • The exploration-exploitation dilemma: A Multidisciplinary framework

      Berger-Tal, Oded; Nathan, Jonathan; Meron, Ehud; Saltz, David (2014)
      The trade-off between the need to obtain new knowledge and the need to use that knowledge to improve performance is one of the most basic trade-offs in nature, and optimal performance usually requires some balance between exploratory and exploitative behaviors. Researchers in many disciplines have been searching for the optimal solution to this dilemma. Here we present a novel model in which the exploration strategy itself is dynamic and varies with time in order to optimize a definite goal, such as the acquisition of energy, money, or prestige. Our model produced four very distinct phases: Knowledge establishment, Knowledge accumulation, Knowledge maintenance, and Knowledge exploitation, giving rise to a multidisciplinary framework that applies equally to humans, animals, and organizations. The framework can be used to explain a multitude of phenomena in various disciplines, such as the movement of animals in novel landscapes, the most efficient resource allocation for a start-up company, or the effects of old age on knowledge acquisition in humans.
    • Ungulate browsing maintains shrub diversity in the absence of episodic disturbance in seasonally-arid conifer forest

      Pekin, Burak K.; Wisdom, Michael J.; Endress, Bryan A.; Naylor, Bridgett J.; Parks, Catherine G. (2014)
      Ungulates exert a strong influence on the composition and diversity of vegetation communities. However, little is known about how ungulate browsing pressure interacts with episodic disturbances such as fire and stand thinning. We assessed shrub responses to variable browsing pressure by cattle and elk in fuels treated (mechanical removal of fuels followed by prescribed burning) and non-fuels treated forest sites in northeastern Oregon, US. Seven treatment paddocks were established at each site; three with cattle exclusion and low, moderate and high elk browsing pressure, three with elk exclusion and low, moderate and high cattle browsing pressure, and one with both cattle and elk exclusion. The height, cover and number of stems of each shrub species were recorded at multiple plots within each paddock at the time of establishment and six years later. Changes in shrub species composition over the six year period were explored using multivariate analyses. Generalized Linear Mixed Models were used to determine the effect of browsing pressure on the change in shrub diversity and evenness. Vegetation composition in un-browsed paddocks changed more strongly and in different trajectories than in browsed paddocks at sites that were not fuels treated. In fuels treated sites, changes in composition were minimal for un-browsed paddocks. Shrub diversity and evenness decreased strongly in un-browsed paddocks relative to paddocks with low, moderate and high browsing pressure at non-fuels treated sites, but not at fuels treated sites. These results suggest that in the combined absence of fire, mechanical thinning and ungulate browsing, shrub diversity is reduced due to increased dominance by certain shrub species which are otherwise suppressed by ungulates and/or fuels removal. Accordingly, ungulate browsing, even at low intensities, can be used to suppress dominant shrub species and maintain diversity in the absence of episodic disturbance events.
    • Withered on the stem: is bamboo a seasonally limiting resource for giant pandas?

      Li, Youxu; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Wei, Wei; Nie, Yonggang; Hu, Yibo; Yang, Xuyu; Gu, Xiaodong; Zhang, Zejun (2017)
      In response to seasonal variation in quality and quantity of available plant biomass, herbivorous foragers may alternate among different plant resources to meet nutritional requirements. Giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) are reliant almost exclusively on bamboo which appears omnipresent in most occupied habitat, but subtle temporal variation in bamboo quality may still govern foraging strategies, with population-level effects....