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Gambra Caravantes, Daniel, 2020. Anti-predatory responses of White rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) to simulated risk. Does poaching create a landscape of fear?. Second cycle, A2E. Umeå: SLU, Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies



Predators affect prey’s behaviour which can lead preys to change their spatial use of the habitat, creating a landscape of fear. This is not generally the case for white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum), which as megaherbivores (<1000 kg) are relatively invulnerable to non-human predators. However, due to poaching, rhinos are exposed to a human predation pressure, which would be expected to create a landscape of fear. It is uncertain if rhinos recognize human predator and, if they do, it is unknown whether they exhibit successful anti-predator responses to human predation risk or not. In this study, I conducted a landscape-scale playback experiment testing if rhinos exhibited different anti-predator responses when they were exposed to non-threatening sounds (i.e. control sounds) and several threatening sounds (i.e. lion, human voices and gunshots). I evaluated whether rhino showed anti-predator responses to different simulated risk sounds. In addition, I tested whether rhino anti-predator responses to those sounds were stronger in high poaching intensity areas. The experiment showed that rhinos ran from all sounds that simulated risk, responded defensively from gunshot and lion sounds and increased vigilance for human voices and lion sounds. However, the strength of their responses did not increase with poaching intensity. The results of this study could be useful for implementing management anti-poaching strategies in the future.

Main title:Anti-predatory responses of White rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) to simulated risk. Does poaching create a landscape of fear?
Authors:Gambra Caravantes, Daniel
Supervisor:Cromsigt, Joris and le Roux, Liza
Examiner:Hofmeester, Tim
Series:Examensarbete / SLU, Institutionen för vilt, fisk och miljö
Volume/Sequential designation:2020:18
Year of Publication:2020
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:SM003 Management of Fish and Wildlife Populations - Master's Programme 120 HEC
Supervising department:(S) > Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
Keywords:white rhinoceros, poaching, playback experiment, anti-predatory behaviour, landscape of fear, perceived predation risk
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Nature conservation and land resources
Deposited On:19 Oct 2020 08:14
Metadata Last Modified:20 Oct 2020 01:00

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