Boldness-mediated habitat use tactics and reproductive success in a wild large herbivore

The balance between resource acquisition and risk avoidance should vary according to personality type, with potential knock-on effects for fitness. Although previous studies have suggested a link between boldness and fitness components, little evidence is available on the behavioural mechanisms mediating this relationship in the wild. Because habitat use is the outcome of the trade-off […]

Behavioural syndromes in Steller’s jays: the role of time frames in the assessment of behavioural traits

Behavioural syndromes describe consistent and correlated individual differences in behavioural traits. Quantifying individual differences often requires researchers to capture and hold animals in captivity while short-term behavioural assays are recorded. We compared behavioural responses of adult, territorial Steller’s jays in short- and long-term field assessments of behavioural traits in two ecological contexts, risk taking and […]

Evaluation of exploration and risk assessment in pre-weaning mice using the novel cage test

Exploration and risk behaviour (risk assessment/risk taking) are critical to enable mice to cope with novel situations and gain control over their environment. Evaluation of those behaviours would therefore be a useful part of early phenotypic characterization of genetically modified mice, allowing early detection of behavioural phenotypes that require special attention and/or are of scientific […]

Flight distance and population trends in European breeding birds

Flight distance reflects the risk that individual animals are willing to take when approached by a potential predator, as shown by a negative relationship between susceptibility to predation and flight distance. Species with long flight distances should more often suffer from disruption of their activities by potential predators, including humans, than species with short distances, […]

Is risk taking during foraging a personality trait? A field test for cross-context consistency in boldness

During foraging, animals have to balance the risk of predation with the energy gain. The amount of risk animals take for a given resource depends on their energy budget but is expected also to vary between individuals of different personality types. We tested whether individuals of free-ranging grey mouse lemurs, Microcebus murinus, forage risk-sensitively and […]

Does early stress prepare individuals for a stressful future? Stress during adolescence improves foraging under threat

Adolescent exposure to adverse environmental conditions can cause lasting changes in behaviour, cognition and physiology. One explanation for why such changes occur is that they allow organisms to adjust aspects of their phenotype to enhance function in an unfavourable environment. This concept has been investigated for stress during gestation (e.g. thrifty phenotype hypothesis, maternal mismatch […]