Too much of a good thing? A landscape-of-fear analysis for collared peccaries (Pecari tajacu) reveals hikers act as a greater deterrent than thorny or bitter food

Sonny S. Bleicher, Michael L. Rosenzweig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

To study how wildlife perceive recreating humans, we studied the habitat selection of a human commensalist, the collared peccary (Pecari tajacu (Linnaeus, 1758)). We measured peccary activity patterns in an area of high human activity (Tumamoc Hill Desert Laboratory in Tucson, Arizona, USA) using a landscape-of-fear analysis. We examined whether the perception of risk from human activity interacted with the chemical (tannin) and mechanical (thorns) antipredator mechanisms of local plant species. The peccaries avoided food stations near a hiking trail. The population foraged less near houses, i.e., moderate human activity, than in the perceived safety of a small wadi. Plant defence treatments impacted the harvesting of food only in the safe zone, suggesting that risk trumps food selectivity. The strong effect of the hiking trail on habitat selection in this disturbance-loving species is an indicator of a much larger impact on sensitive species in conservation areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-324
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian Journal of Zoology
Volume96
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Collared peccary
  • Conservation
  • Creosote
  • Disturbance
  • GUD
  • Giving-up density
  • Javelina
  • Ocotillo
  • Pecari tajacu
  • Plant-animal interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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