Antipredator behaviour of African ungulates around human settlements

Author(s)Thomas Yamashita, Kaitlyn M. Gaynor, John Kioko, Justin Brashares and Christian Kiffner
Year Published2017
JournalAfrican Journal of Ecology
Page Numbers528-536
Size997.22 KB
Abstract:

As human populations grow and come into more frequent contact with wildlife, it is important to understand how anthropogenic disturbance alters wildlife behaviour. Using fine-scale spatial analyses, we examined how proximity to human settlements affects antipredator responses of ungulates. We studied seven common ungulate species (Kirk’s dik-dik, Thomson’s gazelle, impala, common warthog, common wildebeest, common zebra and Masai giraffe) in the Tarangire–Manyara ecosystem in northern Tanzania. In zebra and giraffe, flight responses to humans were significantly more likely when closer to settlements; however, there was a weak relationship between flight responses and distance to settlement in all other species. While there was largely a weak relationship between proximity to human settlements, the distribution of settlements in the landscape appears to affect wildlife behaviour, suggesting that animals perceive and respond to spatial variation in risk exerted by humans.

Keywords: Antipredator behaviour, Flight initiation distance, Landscape of fear, Tarangire–Manyara ecosystem

Authors: Thomas Yamashita, Kaitlyn M. Gaynor, John Kioko, Justin Brashares and Christian Kiffner

Journal: African Journal of Ecology


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