The response of native Australian rodents to predator odours varies seasonally: a by-product of life history variation?

Hayes, R. A.., Nahrung, H. F. and Wilson, J. C. (2006) The response of native Australian rodents to predator odours varies seasonally: a by-product of life history variation?. Animal Behaviour, 71 6: 1307-1314. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2005.08.017


Author Hayes, R. A..
Nahrung, H. F.
Wilson, J. C.
Title The response of native Australian rodents to predator odours varies seasonally: a by-product of life history variation?
Journal name Animal Behaviour   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0003-3472
Publication date 2006-06
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.anbehav.2005.08.017
Volume 71
Issue 6
Start page 1307
End page 1314
Total pages 8
Place of publication London
Publisher Academic Press Ltd Elsevier Science Ltd
Collection year 2006
Language eng
Subject CX
Abstract Small mammals are subject to predation from mammalian, avian and reptilian predators. There is an obvious advantage for prey species to detect the presence of predators in their environment, enabling them to make decisions about movement and foraging behaviour based on perceived risk of predation. We examined the effect of faecal odours from marsupial and eutherian predators, and a native reptilian predator, on the behaviour of three endemic Australian rodent species (the fawn-footed melomys, Melomys cervinipes, the bush rat, Rattus fuscipes, and the giant white-tailed rat, Uromys caudimaculatus) in rainforest remnants on the Atherton Tableland, North Queensland, Australia. Infrared camera traps were used to assess visit rates of rodents to odour stations containing faecal and control odours. Rodents avoided odour stations containing predator faeces, but did not avoid herbivore or control odours. The responses of the three prey species differed: in the late wet season U. caudimaculatus avoided predator odours, whereas R. fuscipes and M. cervinipes did not. In contrast, in the late dry season all three species avoided odour stations containing predator odours. We speculate that these different responses may result from variation in life history traits between the species. (c) 2006 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keyword Behavioral Sciences
Zoology
Vulpes-vulpes
Root Voles
Field
Repellents
Behavior
Risk
Prey
Rats
Stimuli
Habitat
Q-Index Code CX

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
Institute for Molecular Bioscience - Publications
 
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Created: Mon, 13 Aug 2007, 16:23:04 EST