Fear in animals: a meta-analysis and review of risk assessment

The amount of risk animals perceive in a given circumstance (i.e. their degree of ‘fear’) is a difficult motivational state to study. While many studies have used flight initiation distance as a proxy for fearfulness and examined the factors influencing the decision to flee, there is no general understanding of the relative importance of these […]

Evaluating methods to quantify anthropogenic stressors on wild animals

Humans have a variety of direct and indirect impacts on wildlife and a number of methods have been proposed to identify and quantify anthropogenic stressors that negatively impact wildlife. The ideal method would ultimately help predict the presence, absence, or population viability of animals living with a particular stressor. We critically review seven methods that […]

Testing a key assumption of wildlife buffer zones- is flight initiation distance a species-specific trait

The distance at which animals flee an approaching predator is known as the ‘flight initiation distance’ (FID). Wildlife managers use FID to develop buffer zones to reduce human impacts on wildlife. Many variables have been demonstrated to influence FID leading one to question whether it can be viewed as a species-specific trait. We tested this […]

Do individual differences influence flight initiation distance?

Flight initiation distance (FID), or the distance between a prey animal and an approaching intruder when the prey initiates its escape, is an important factor in wildlife management. We conducted a study on individually identified yellow-bellied marmots (Marmota flaviventris) to test 3 key assumptions of FID research: (1) differences in individual responses are small enough […]

Stress responsiveness, age and body condition interactively affect flight initiation distance in breeding female eiders

Predation may drive differential selection among personality types, but the mechanism linking personality with predation risk is poorly understood. One such mechanism may be provided by stress hormones (corticosterone in birds), which are linked to boldness towards predators. However, because of feedbacks between boldness and future fitness expectations, the relationship between boldness and stress physiology […]