The possibility of teaching naive animals about predators is often considered, but rarely implemented. By presenting model predators to free-living families of New Zealand robins Petroica australis , we showed that young robins learned to respond fearfully towards the predator. Robins held in captivity also learned to fear the predator when conditioning techniques were used. We argue that training about predators is an important and achievable component of any management programme designed to prepare endangered species for release into the wild. The techniques used here were simple, cheap, quick to apply, and resulted in significant adjustments in the response of young birds to a predator.
Biological Conservation – Elsevier
Published: Jan 1, 1999
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