Reported livestock guarding dog-wildlife interactions: Implications for conservation and animal welfare

Livestock depredation by carnivores is a key cause of detrimental human-wildlife interactions around the world. Recently, the use of livestock-guarding dogs (LGDs) to reduce livestock depredation has been challenged in terms of their impact on wild animal welfare and survival, but the prevalence of LGD-wildlife interactions is poorly understood. Using data for 225 LGDs on […]

The positive aspects of correct negative reinforcement

In the scheme of contemporary animal training, horse training is virtually unique because it relies on negative reinforcement (NR) rather than positive reinforcement (PR). Furthermore, horse trainers are largely unaware that they are using NR in training. Instead, they believe in the benevolent nature of the horse and see their task in training as one […]

Male-female interactions affect foraging behaviour within groups of small-spotted catshark, Scyliorhinus canicula

To examine potential effects of male-female interactions on the sexes’ foraging behaviour, we studied equal-sized, single- and mixed-sex groups of a benthic elasmobranch, the small-spotted catshark, in response to electric stimuli. A total of 88 size-matched, adult individuals were repeatedly presented with a range of artificial, prey type electric fields (E fields) under laboratory conditions […]

Abiotic stressors and the conservation of social species

Human activities have profoundly changed the abiotic environment, which in many cases has resulted in the deterioration of natural ecosystems. This global problem requires collaborative efforts between scientific disciplines and between academics and wildlife managers if we are to preserve the remaining biodiversity. Here I discuss a potential application of behavioral ecology to the conservation […]

Indo-Pacific parrotfish exert partner choice in interactions with cleanerfish but Caribbean parrotfish do not

Cooperation theory puts a strong emphasis on partner control mechanisms that have evolved to stabilize cooperation against the temptation of cheating. The marine cleaning mutualism between the Indo-Pacific bluestreack cleaner wrasse, Labroides dimidiatus, and its reef fish ‘clients’ has been a model system to study partner control mechanisms and counterstrategies. These cleaners cooperate by eating […]

Variation in glucocorticoid levels in relation to direct and third-party interactions in a social cichlid fish

In complex animal societies, direct interactions between group members can influence the behavior and glucocorticoid levels of individuals involved. Recently, it has become apparent that third-party group members can influence dyadic interactions, and vice versa. Thus, glucocorticoid levels may vary depending on interactions of other members of the social group. Using the social cichlid fish […]

Some Animals Are More Equal than Others: Wild Animal Welfare in the Media

The media can reflect social opinion and influence debate and policy. Wild vertebrate welfare issues are regularly reported in the media, but there has been no study of the type and frequency of their coverage. We compiled a list of potential wild vertebrate welfare issues in the United Kingdom, recording how often each issue was […]