Historical and experimental learned predator recognition in free-living New-Zealand robins

Historical and experimental learned predator recognition in free-living New-Zealand robins New Zealand birds first encountered mammalian predators in the 18th century and thus do not carry an evolved set of response options for mammals. The responses of experienced and naive New Zealand robins, Petroica australis , to an introduced mammal (the stoat, Mustela erminea ) were compared. Experienced (mainland) robins responded strongly to the stoat, whereas their response to the control (a box) was weak, and similar to the response of naive (island) robins to both the stoat and the control. Naive robins learned to recognize the stoat after one-event learning. The training was robust, being achieved using three training protocols. Robins on the mainland have apparently learned to recognize predators, and it is suggested that learned recognition abilities have enabled their survival. Predator training may be a valuable addition to many reintroduction programmes for endangered species. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Animal Behaviour Elsevier

Historical and experimental learned predator recognition in free-living New-Zealand robins

Animal Behaviour, Volume 50 (5) – Jan 1, 1995

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 1995 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0003-3472
eISSN
1095-8282
D.O.I.
10.1016/0003-3472(95)80036-0
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

New Zealand birds first encountered mammalian predators in the 18th century and thus do not carry an evolved set of response options for mammals. The responses of experienced and naive New Zealand robins, Petroica australis , to an introduced mammal (the stoat, Mustela erminea ) were compared. Experienced (mainland) robins responded strongly to the stoat, whereas their response to the control (a box) was weak, and similar to the response of naive (island) robins to both the stoat and the control. Naive robins learned to recognize the stoat after one-event learning. The training was robust, being achieved using three training protocols. Robins on the mainland have apparently learned to recognize predators, and it is suggested that learned recognition abilities have enabled their survival. Predator training may be a valuable addition to many reintroduction programmes for endangered species.

Journal

Animal BehaviourElsevier

Published: Jan 1, 1995

References

  • Acquisition of predator information by active and passive mobbers in ring-billed gull colonies
    Conover, M.R.
  • Predator harassment implies a real deadly risk: a reply to Hennessy
    Curio, E.; Regelmann, K.
  • Naive ducklings show different cardiac response to hawk than to goose models
    Mueller, H.C.; Parker, P.G.

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