Ambush predators provide more persistent cues of predation risk compared to coursing predators and are predicted to exert stronger effects on behaviour of their prey. We studied anti-predator responses of ungulates by means of camera traps to an olfactory cue (fresh scat) of an ambush predator, the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx). Roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) and red deer (Cervus elaphus) both important prey species for lynx were not more vigilant when exposed to lynx scent, but reduced their visitation duration. Our results contrast with previously reported responses of red deer to scent from a coursing predator, the wolf (Canis lupus), where only vigilance and foraging behaviour but not visitation duration changed in response to wolf scat. This indicates that ungulates are able to recognize the risk of predation from predators with differing hunting modes based on olfactory cues and adjust their anti-predatory behaviour.
Diet quality in a wild grazer declines under the threat of an ambush predator. —
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Innate threat-sensitive foraging: black-tailed deer remain more fearful of wolf than of the less dangerous black bear even after 100 years of wolf absence. —
Scales of movement by elk (Cervus elaphus) in response to heterogeneity in forage resources and predation risk. —
Effects of exploitation and protection on forest structure, ungulate density and wolf predation in Białowieża Primeval Forest, Poland. —
J. Appl. Ecol.31:
Daily movements and territory use by radio-collared wolves (Canis lupus) in Bialowieza Primeval Forest in Poland. —
Can. J. Zool.79:
Kill rates and predation by wolves on ungulate populations in Białowieża Primeval Forest (Poland). —
Home ranges of wolves in Białowieża Primeval Forest, Poland, compared with other Eurasian populations. —
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Do free-ranging domestic goats show ‘landscapes of fear’? Patch use in response to habitat features and predator cues. —
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Minimizing predation risk in a landscape of multiple predators, effects on the spatial distribution of African ungulates. —