Parasite and predator risk assessment: nuanced use of olfactory cues
John G Sharp, Sarah Garnick, Mark A Elgar, Graeme Coulson
Proceedings of the Royal Society B | ROYAL SOC | Published : 2015
Foraging herbivores face twin threats of predation and parasite infection, but the risk of predation has received much more attention. We evaluated, experimentally, the role of olfactory cues in predator and parasite risk assessment on the foraging behaviour of a population of marked, free-ranging, red-necked wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus). The wallabies adjusted their behaviour according to these olfactory cues. They foraged less, were more vigilant and spent less time at feeders placed in the vicinity of faeces from dogs that had consumed wallaby or kangaroo meat compared with that of dogs feeding on sheep, rabbit or possum meat. Wallabies also showed a species-specific faecal aversion b..View full abstract
This research was supported by the Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment (to J.S.).