Data on Ecology Research Detailed by Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (To dare or not to dare? Risk management by owls in a predator-prey foraging game)
By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Ecology, Environment & Conservation -- Researchers detail new data in Ecology Research. According to news reporting from Midreshet Ben Gurion, Israel, by VerticalNews journalists, research stated, "In a foraging game, predators must catch elusive prey while avoiding injury. Predators manage their hunting success with behavioral tools such as habitat selection, time allocation, and perhaps daring-the willingness to risk injury to increase hunting success."
The news correspondents obtained a quote from the research from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, "A predator's level of daring should be state dependent: the hungrier it is, the more it should be willing to risk injury to better capture prey. We ask, in a foraging game, will a hungry predator be more willing to risk injury while hunting? We performed an experiment in an outdoor vivarium in which barn owls (Tyto alba) were allowed to hunt Allenby's gerbils (Gerbillus andersoni allenbyi) from a choice of safe and risky patches. Owls were either well fed or hungry, representing the high and low state, respectively. We quantified the owls' patch use behavior. We predicted that hungry owls would be more daring and allocate more time to the risky patches. Owls preferred to hunt in the safe patches. This indicates that owls manage risk of injury by avoiding the risky patches. Hungry owls doubled their attacks on gerbils, but directed the added effort mostly toward the safe patch and the safer, open areas in the risky patch. Thus, owls dared by performing a risky action-the attack maneuver-more times, but only in the safest places-the open areas."
According to the news reporters, the research concluded: "We conclude that daring can be used to manage risk of injury and owls implement it strategically, in ways we did not foresee, to minimize risk of injury while maximizing hunting success."
For more information on this research see: To dare or not to dare? Risk management by owls in a predator-prey foraging game. Oecologia, 2014;175(3):825-834. Oecologia can be contacted at: Springer, 233 Spring St, New York, NY 10013, USA. (Springer - www.springer.com; Oecologia - www.springerlink.com/content/0029-8549/)
Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting K. Embar, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Blaustein Inst Desert Res, Mitrani Dept. of Desert Ecol, IL-84990 Midreshet Ben Gurion, Israel. Additional authors for this research include A. Raveh, D. Burns and B.P. Kotler.
Keywords for this news article include: Asia, Israel, Ecology Research, Midreshet Ben Gurion
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