Les hommes ont oublié cette vérité. Mais tu ne dois pas l'oublier, dit le renard. Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé.
Le Petit Prince, chap. 21

Monday, 16 June 2014

Space use and intraguild interactions among three opportunistic predators

Krauze-Gryz, D., Gryz, J. B., Goszczyński, J., Chylarecki, P., & Zmihorski, M. (2012). The good, the bad, and the ugly: space use and intraguild interactions among three opportunistic predators—cat (Felis catus), dog (Canis lupus familiaris), and red fox (Vulpes vulpes)—under human pressure. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 90(12), 1402-1413.

Examples of interspecific interactions have been described for mammalian predators, but less is known regarding disturbances of native predator guilds by domestic predators. We investigated intraguild interactions among three opportunistic predators (dog (Canis lupus familiaris L., 1758), cat (Felis catus L., 1758), and red fox (Vulpes vulpes (L., 1758)) co-occurring in the extensive farmlands of central Poland. Their space use was monitored using tracking stations distributed in field and forest plots along a distance gradient from buildings and analyzed using the occupancy-modeling framework. For all three species occupancy decreased with increased distance from buildings, although for the fox the pattern was relatively weak. The occurrence of cats at the stations was higher in the forest than in the field; for fox and dog, there was a strong variation between study plots. For all three predators, the probability of detection was higher during the night than during the day and varied between the seasons; however, the exact patterns were species-specific. The presence of one predator was also linked to the presence of the other two species—generally, a given species was detected more frequently in the absence of the other two species. We recorded spatiotemporal niche segregation among the three species. We conclude that interspecific antagonistic interactions and differences in foraging ecology are the main drivers shaping co-occurrence of the three species in the agriculture landscape.

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