Human presence (e.g. hunting, ecotourism and wildlife photography) affects animal behaviour. Hunting pressure increases the perception of predation risk in ungulates and hares and may force them to create clumped groups within protected areas. Acute effects are showed immediately after harassments and may include displacement of home ranges, alteration of activity rhythms and increased hormone secretions. No study has been carried out yet on behavioural alterations induced by hunting on non-target, legally protected species, whereas these studies should be required to design addressed management and conservation plans. The crested porcupine Hystrix cristata represents a suitable model species to study effects of hunting on protected species, as its ranging movements and activity rhythms are seasonally, stereotypically repeated. My results on individually marked porcupines showed that, when hunting with dogs occurred, a displacement of home range arises towards areas providing easily accessible food resources (i.e. fruits, which do not require digging). This behaviour might prevent porcupines to spend a high amount of time digging bulbs and tubers and, thus, it may result in a reduction of activity bouts. Home range displacement has also been observed only when >10 cm of snow are present on the ground. The presence of hunting dogs increases the predation risk perception by potential prey species, which in turn respond by altering their spatio-temporal behaviour. Wildlife managers should therefore evaluate the use of a small number of specialized dogs for hunting in management and conservation plans, particularly in areas characterized by the presence of endangered and protected species.
|Titolo:||Porcupines in the landscape of fear: effect of hunting with dogs on the behaviour of a non-target species|
MORI, EMILIANO (Corresponding)
|Citazione:||Mori, E. (2017). Porcupines in the landscape of fear: effect of hunting with dogs on the behaviour of a non-target species. MAMMAL RESEARCH, 62(3), 251-258.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|