Connect with us

Technology

Some carnivores, such as bears, cats and civets change their hunting schedule to avoid each other

Published

on


Some species of carnivores, like bears, wild cats and civets may actually avoid each other in an effort to conserve resources and survive, a new study suggests.

A group of researchers, led by those at Japan‘s Hiroshima University, looked at nine species (a bear, three different civets, two wild cats, a skunk, a mustelid and a linsang) over a span of more than three years at different sites in Borneo, the third largest island in the world.

They found that six of the nocturnal species — three different civets, one wild cats, a skunk, and the linsang — had some overlaps in activity.

One of the wild cats and the mustelid (in this case, a smoot otter) preferred rummaging during the day time.

Conversely, the bear was active throughout the day, regardless of time.

From upper left to lower right: Sun bear, Marbled cat, Flat-headed cat, Smooth otters, Yellow-throated marten, Banded linsang, Binturong, Common palm civet, Malay civet. Some carnivores like bears, wild cats and civets may avoid each other to conserve resources and survive. Experts looked at 9 species over more than three years at three sites on Borneo

From upper left to lower right: Sun bear, Marbled cat, Flat-headed cat, Smooth otters, Yellow-throated marten, Banded linsang, Binturong, Common palm civet, Malay civet. Some carnivores like bears, wild cats and civets may avoid each other to conserve resources and survive. Experts looked at 9 species over more than three years at three sites on Borneo

They found that six of the nocturnal species — three different civets, one wild cats, a skunk, and the linsang — had overlaps in activity. One of the wild cats and the mustelid (in this case, a smoot otter) preferred rummaging during the day time. Conversely, the bear was active throughout the day, regardless of time

They found that six of the nocturnal species — three different civets, one wild cats, a skunk, and the linsang — had overlaps in activity. One of the wild cats and the mustelid (in this case, a smoot otter) preferred rummaging during the day time. Conversely, the bear was active throughout the day, regardless of time

The researchers were surprised that one of the wild cats was active at night while the other was active during the day and that the three civets were all active at night, suggesting it may be due to limited competition for food.

‘Information regarding temporal activity patterns of animals is crucial to assess responses to anthropogenic disturbances and to allow the implementation of proper conservation measures,’ the study’s lead author, Miyabi Nakabayashi, said in a statement

‘Camera trapping is one of the most useful techniques to study cryptic and rare animals.’  

This type of behavior, carnivores spreading out their time looking for food, would not be uncommon in the animal kingdom. 

Earlier this year, Australian researchers found that different species of sharks hunt in shifts so as to avoid one another.

The researchers collected 37,379 photos from 73 cameras over the three years at the three sites on Borneo, with the first camera installed in 2010 and the last removed in 2016.

The researchers collected 37,379 photos from 73 cameras over the three years at the three sites on Borneo, with the first camera installed in 2010 and the last removed in 2016

The researchers collected 37,379 photos from 73 cameras over the three years at the three sites on Borneo, with the first camera installed in 2010 and the last removed in 2016

The experts also noted that tourism in the region likely plays a role in mammal behavior.

‘Approximately 20% of the world’s mammal species face the risk of extinction, mainly due to threats such as habitat loss and overexploitation,’ Nakabayashi added.  

Of the three sites, only one had nocturnal tourism events. The palm civets at the other two sites had 'clear perks' in activity at night, while the civet at the site with nocturnal tourism had 'unclear and delayed temporal movement'

Of the three sites, only one had nocturnal tourism events. The palm civets at the other two sites had ‘clear perks’ in activity at night, while the civet at the site with nocturnal tourism had ‘unclear and delayed temporal movement’

Of the three sites, only one had nocturnal tourism events. 

The palm civets at the other two sites had ‘clear perks’ in activity at night, while the civet at the site with nocturnal tourism had ‘unclear and delayed temporal movement,’ according to the statement.

‘The potential benefits of ecotourism may include reduced threats to wildlife,’ Nakabayashi added.

‘But our results indicate that the temporal activity pattern of a species might be directly affected by tourism activity. The effect of tourism on animal behavior should be evaluated, even though it is non-lethal ecotourism.’

The researchers note that more study is needed to determine the carnivores are actively avoiding each other or if something else is causing them to distance themselves from one another

The researchers note that more study is needed to determine the carnivores are actively avoiding each other or if something else is causing them to distance themselves from one another

The researchers note that more study is needed to determine the carnivores are actively avoiding each other or if something else is causing them to distance themselves from one another.

‘Current information is too limited and sporadic to understand basic behaviors of mammals, which may affect the progress in evaluating and improving the threatened status,’ Nakabayashi said. 

‘We should accumulate more information on rare species to determine their basic ecology and to reassess whether current conservation management strategies are appropriate.’  

The study was published earlier this month in Scientific Reports.  



Source link

%d bloggers like this: