Conservation and Trapping Science

Arctic fox prey caching events revealed by accelerometry
Dec 3, 2021 06:40 ET

Background: Biologging now allows detailed recording of animal movement, thus informing behavioural ecology in ways unthinkable just a few years ago. In particular, combining GPS and accelerometry allows spatially explicit tracking of various behaviours, including predation events in large terrestrial mammalian predators. Specifcally, identifcation of location clusters resulting from prey handling allows efcient location of killing events. For small predators with short prey handling times, however, identifying predation events through technology remains unresolved. We propose that a promising avenue emerges when specifc foraging behaviours generate diagnostic acceleration patterns. One such example is the caching behaviour of the arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus), an active hunting predator strongly relying on food storage when living in proximity to bird colonies.

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