Wildlife animal behavior.doc

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University of Massachusetts Amherst
Natural Resources Conservation
NRC 261
Todd Fuller

4 March 2014 Animal Behavior NRC 261 What do you need to know about behavior in order to effectively conserve & manage the largest elephant population in southern Africa? Cant do good conservation unless you understand the behaviors and activity’s of the species. How they interact with each other Behaviors important to conservation Feeding/Hunting Mating Movement Patterns Activity Patterns Social Interactions Today’s topics Movements (pattern and extent; ultimate causes) Range and variation, why do they move? Social interactions (land use/spacing and family life) Movements Home range: the area an individual animal uses for obtaining resources: food, mates, and ability to care for its young Whats the area/habitat they need to survive in Estimating and understanding a home range – barn owl example • Movement paths- how it uses area and when goes back to nest • Land use types (pasture, farmland) Alalfa fields or pastures Repeatedly locating an animal and circumscribing the area it “uses” Travel paths Areas of frequent use Home range size varies with: Body weight and trophic level • Bigger animals have bigger home ranges because more resources Food quantity and distribution • If that’s what you feed on then have to have bigger home range • The higher you feed on trophic level the larger home range cause food more rare Movements Range residents; year round resources -Distributed regularly -Remain a resident don’t have to move -Raccoons and gray fox Migrators-Relatively long distance -Seasonal changes in resources -Seasonal changes in distribution Ex- Columbia spotted frog, salamander, bighorn sheep, oystercatcher Nomads- occur where resources are unpredictable -large scale movements -ex. Mongolian gazelles (grass
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