Escaping Predation

Together with Martijn Weterings and Sip van Wieren I study how the spatial heterogeneity of the landscape affects responses to predation risk in the European hare in the Netherlands. Intensified human interaction with its surrounding landscape since the 1900’s lead to a decrease in landscape heterogeneity, resulting in a long-term decreasing trend in Brown hare population numbers. The decrease in landscape heterogeneity not only affected the immediate environment of the brown hare, it also improved the accessibility for, and impact of predators on hare populations, influencing predator avoidance and prey-predator encounters:

Weterings, M.J.A., M. Zaccaroni, N. van der Koore, L.M. Zijlstra, H. Kuipers, F. van Langevelde and S.E. van Wieren (2016) Strong reactive movement response of the medium-sized European hare to elevated predation risk in short vegetation. Animal Behaviour 115:107–114 (PDF)

Predators largely affect the distribution and behaviour of their prey:

De Boer, W.F., M.J.P. Vis, H.J. De Knegt, C. Rowles, E.M. Kohi, F. van Langevelde, M. Peel, Y. Pretorius, A.K. Skidmore, R. Slotow, S.E. van Wieren and H.H.T. Prins (2010) Spatial distribution of lion kills determined by the water dependency of prey species. Journal of Mammalogy 91:1280–1286 (PDF)

Jonker, R.M., G. Eichhorn, F. van Langevelde and S. Bauer (2010) Predation danger can explain changes in timing of migration: The case of the Barnacle Goose. PLoS ONE 5:e11369 (PDF)

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