African elephant home range and habitat selection in Pongola Game Reserve, South Africa

The ranging behaviour and habitat occupancy by three elephant groups (cow herd, bulls, and an orphan group) were studied over a two-year period in a small, fenced reserve. No summer dispersal was observed. Distinct seasonal home ranges were exhibited for all groups, with the summer (wet season) ranges being smaller than the winter (dry season) […]

Do fences create an edge-effect on the movement patterns of a highly mobile mega-herbivore?

Physical barriers, such as rivers and roads, constrain the movement of animals, usually by preventing access to adjacent habitats and impeding dispersal. Fences are artificial barriers that are commonly used as a conservation tool to intentionally restrict movements of animals to within protected reserves. However, the potential edge-effect of fences on the behaviour of animals […]

Sexual segregation by Masai giraffes at two spatial scales

In this paper alternative explanations for observed patterns of sexual segregation by giraffes are examined at two spatial scales: within-habitats and within-landscape. Habitats are defined as recognizable plant associations and the landscape as the collection of all available habitat types. The study was conducted in Mikumi National Park, Tanzania. At the within-landscape level, all sex […]

Habitat selection by a rare forest antelope: A multi-scale approach combining field data and imagery from three sensors

It can be difficult to further scientific understanding of rare or endangered species that live in inaccessible habitat using traditional methods, such as probabilistic modeling based on field data collection. Remote sensing (RS) can be an important source of information for the study of these animals. A key advantage of RS is its ability to […]

Colony foundation in the lesser kestrel: patterns and consequences of the occupation of empty habitat patches

Understanding the process of colonization of new habitat patches is critical to clarify the proximate mechanisms involved in the distribution of a species and particularly in the formation of breeding aggregations. We studied the process of colony foundation in a long-term monitored population of lesser kestrels, Falco naumanni. For this purpose, we first analysed which […]

Adaptive effects of natal experience on habitat selection by dispersers

Despite considerable interest in the effects of natal experience on habitat selection, little attention has been paid to the adaptive significance of this behaviour. Here we suggest that experience in the natal habitat may provide dispersers with information that improves the decisions they make while searching for a new habitat. In animals with time-limited sequential […]

The conservation-welfare nexus in reintroduction programmes: a role for sensory ecology

Since reintroduction programmes involve moving animals from captive or wild environments and releasing them into novel environments, there are sure to be a number of challenges to the welfare of the individuals involved. Behavioural theory can help us develop reintroductions that are better for both the welfare of the individual and the conservation of populations. […]

Different Habitat Preferences of Male and Female Giant Pandas

A feature of many endangered species management plans, is the provision or protection of habitat. However, defining exactly what constitutes habitat can be difficult. This is made more complicated when habitat preferences differ within a species such as between males and females. Using a combination of field surveys and sex identification through fecal DNA, we […]

New communal roosting tradition established through experimental translocation in a Neotropical harvestman

‘Tradition’ has been invoked to explain instances in which animals aggregate repeatedly in the same locations for no apparent reason, but alternative explanations, such as cryptic habitat selection, are difficult to rule out. Distinguishing among these hypotheses requires field experiments. We studied a species of harvestman (Prionostemma sp.) that forages solitarily at night and forms […]

Quantitative tests of multitrophic ideal free distribution theory

Ideal free distribution (IFD) theory is often used to explain small-scale spatial distributions of organisms. However, few studies have rigorously tested predictions of IFD models in situations involving multiple species and trophic levels. We fully parameterized and tested predictions of a general interference IFD model for both predators and prey in a tritrophic system: seven-spotted […]