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Selective Predation of a Stalking Predator on Ungulate Prey

Please always quote using this URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:20-opus-166827
  • Prey selection is a key factor shaping animal populations and evolutionary dynamics. An optimal forager should target prey that offers the highest benefits in terms of energy content at the lowest costs. Predators are therefore expected to select for prey of optimal size. Stalking predators do not pursue their prey long, which may lead to a more random choice of prey individuals. Due to difficulties in assessing the composition of available prey populations, data on prey selection of stalking carnivores are still scarce. We show how thePrey selection is a key factor shaping animal populations and evolutionary dynamics. An optimal forager should target prey that offers the highest benefits in terms of energy content at the lowest costs. Predators are therefore expected to select for prey of optimal size. Stalking predators do not pursue their prey long, which may lead to a more random choice of prey individuals. Due to difficulties in assessing the composition of available prey populations, data on prey selection of stalking carnivores are still scarce. We show how the stalking predator Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) selects prey individuals based on species identity, age, sex and individual behaviour. To address the difficulties in assessing prey population structure, we confirm inferred selection patterns by using two independent data sets: (1) data of 387 documented kills of radio-collared lynx were compared to the prey population structure retrieved from systematic camera trapping using Manly’s standardized selection ratio alpha and (2) data on 120 radio-collared roe deer were analysed using a Cox proportional hazards model. Among the larger red deer prey, lynx selected against adult males—the largest and potentially most dangerous prey individuals. In roe deer lynx preyed selectively on males and did not select for a specific age class. Activity during high risk periods reduced the risk of falling victim to a lynx attack. Our results suggest that the stalking predator lynx actively selects for size, while prey behaviour induces selection by encounter and stalking success rates.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author: Marco Heurich, Klara Zeis, Helmut Küchenhoff, Jörg Müller, Elisa Belotti, Luděk Bufka, Benno Woelfing
URN:urn:nbn:de:bvb:20-opus-166827
Document Type:Journal article
Faculties:Fakultät für Biologie / Theodor-Boveri-Institut für Biowissenschaften
Language:English
Parent Title (English):PLoS ONE
Year of Completion:2016
Volume:11
Issue:8
Pagenumber:e0158449
Source:PLoS ONE 11(8):e0158449 (2016). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0158449
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0158449
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 57 Biowissenschaften; Biologie / 570 Biowissenschaften; Biologie
Tag:Lynx lynx; prey selection; stalking predators
Release Date:2019/07/11
Licence (German):License LogoCC BY: Creative-Commons-Lizenz: Namensnennung 4.0 International