Presentation Title

Shyness and boldness in squirrels: risk-taking while foraging depends on habitat type

Location

Lillard Lobby

Abstract

When foraging, animals must balance their energy needs with the risk of being exposed to predators. Habitats vary in predation risk, and we expect individuals to vary in shyness and boldness when foraging in different environments. We assessed the foraging behavior of gray squirrels in forest, country and urban habitats, and at varying distances from a potential threat: a human observer. We found that the interaction between habitat type and threat distance affects squirrel behavior: forest squirrels were the shyest and urban squirrels were the boldest, but the boldness of country squirrels depends on the distance of the potential threat.

Presentation Type

Poster

Start Date

4-10-2018 1:00 PM

End Date

4-10-2018 2:15 PM

Panel

Poster Presentations

Panel Moderator

Nilam Shah

Field of Study for Presentation

Biology

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Apr 10th, 1:00 PM Apr 10th, 2:15 PM

Shyness and boldness in squirrels: risk-taking while foraging depends on habitat type

Lillard Lobby

When foraging, animals must balance their energy needs with the risk of being exposed to predators. Habitats vary in predation risk, and we expect individuals to vary in shyness and boldness when foraging in different environments. We assessed the foraging behavior of gray squirrels in forest, country and urban habitats, and at varying distances from a potential threat: a human observer. We found that the interaction between habitat type and threat distance affects squirrel behavior: forest squirrels were the shyest and urban squirrels were the boldest, but the boldness of country squirrels depends on the distance of the potential threat.