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Journal Articles Behavioural Processes Year : 2020

Corvids exhibit dynamic risk assessment during escape

Anders Pape Møller
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Raivo Mänd
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It is widely accepted that stationary prey are able to carefully assess the risk levels associated with an approaching predator to make informative decisions on when to escape. However, little is known about subsequent decisionmaking process. We set out to compare whether escape durations of three species of corvids differ depending on how a human observer (in the role of a predator) behaves after the escape has begun. When birds were being followed during escape, escape durations were the longest, escape trajectory was modified the most during escape, and a larger proportion of individuals changed from terrestrial to aerial escape strategy compared to observations where birds were not followed. Mean horizontal escape angle of ca 120º was also a potential indication that monitoring the threat is taken into account when deciding on the escape trajectory. While there were some differences between the behaviour of these three closely related species, the general patterns supported the notion that birds dynamically assess risk during escape to find an optimal balance between getting caught and spending too much time and energy on escaping. Further research using different predator-prey combinations or making comparisons between habitats could help understand the generality of our results.
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Dates and versions

hal-03024827 , version 1 (26-11-2020)



Kunter Tätte, Anders Pape Møller, Raivo Mänd. Corvids exhibit dynamic risk assessment during escape. Behavioural Processes, 2020, 170, pp.104017. ⟨10.1016/j.beproc.2019.104017⟩. ⟨hal-03024827⟩
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