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The Effects of Urbanization on Fear in Wildlife

By Sarah Spier, Joseph J. Fontaine

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Abstract

Through this study we sought out to determine if Fox Squirrels in Lincoln, Nebraska exhibited a change in response to aerial versus terrestrial predators in urban areas. We addressed the possible consequences that human disturbance has on daily stimuli, predator behaviors, and, in turn, prey behaviors. Specifically, the experiment exposed Fox Squirrels to the vocalizations and visual models of an aerial predator, terrestrial predator, and a control species. Squirrels did not show a significant change in behavior between predator types. However, fox squirrels displayed correct anti-predator behaviors by only responding to the predators and not the control. The time it took to respond, length of response, and flee distance were not distinguishable by predator type.

Submitter

Katie Carroll

Date 2015
Publisher University of Nebra
Department Environmental Studies and Fisheries and Wildlife
Degree Bachelor of Science
URL http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/envstudtheses/140/
Language English
University University of Nebraska Lincoln
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Tags
  1. Animal roles
  2. Fear
  3. Physical environment
  4. urban areas
  5. urbanization
  6. Wild animals
  7. wildlife