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Differential predation by age and sex classes in blue wildebeest in Serengeti: study of a modern carnivore den in Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania).

Arriaza MC, Domínguez-Rodrigo M, Martínez-Maza C, Mabulla A, Baquedano E - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: We compared our results with previous studies from lion and hyaena kills through multivariate analyses.Female-biased predation was found to contradict classical hypotheses based on territorial male behaviour.These data are crucial for an effective management of the species and the new method created may be useful for different carnivore species and their prey.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Departamento de Geología, Geografía y Medio Ambiente, Universidad de Alcalá, Edificio de Ciencias, Campus Externo, Ctra. A-II-km 33,600 C. P. 28871 Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain; Instituto de Evolución en África (IDEA), Madrid, Spain.

ABSTRACT
Age and sex selection of prey is an aspect of predator ecology which has been extensively studied in both temperate and African ecosystems. This dimension, along with fecundity, survival rates of prey and mortality factors other than predation are important in laying down the population dynamics of prey and have important implications in the management of species. A carnivore den located in the short-grassland ecological unit of the Serengeti was studied. Sex- and age- class (using five age categories) of the wildebeest remains recovered were analyzed through horn morphology, biometrics of the bones and tooth wear patterns. We compared our results with previous studies from lion and hyaena kills through multivariate analyses. Seasonality of the accumulation was analyzed through tooth histology. PCA and CVA results show that age class selection by predators depends on season, habitat-type, and growth rate of the wildebeest population. Female-biased predation was found to contradict classical hypotheses based on territorial male behaviour. The lion and spotted hyaena showed strong selection on age classes, contrary to previous studies. Migratory wildebeest sex ratio is regulated through differential predation by seasons and female deaths in the wet season are a trade-off for population stability. These data are crucial for an effective management of the species and the new method created may be useful for different carnivore species and their prey.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Location of the den and excavation work in the site.a) b) Location of the den (star) in Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania) c) Excavation work in the slope where the wildebeest bones were concentrated in 2012 d) One of the wildebeest carcasses recovered in 2012 e) One of the wildebeest carcasses recovered in 2013.
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pone.0125944.g001: Location of the den and excavation work in the site.a) b) Location of the den (star) in Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania) c) Excavation work in the slope where the wildebeest bones were concentrated in 2012 d) One of the wildebeest carcasses recovered in 2012 e) One of the wildebeest carcasses recovered in 2013.

Mentions: Olduvai Gorge is a valley at the western margin of the Eastern Rift Valley in northern Tanzania. The valley cuts the Serengeti Plain, which extends about 110 km northeast toward Lake Victoria [21]. A carnivore den was located close to the third fault of the gorge in 2012 (Olduvai Modern Den, Olduvai Gorge, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Arusha, Tanzania) (Fig 1). It produced a large assemblage composed exclusively of wildebeest bones with conspicuous carnivore marks. The bones were concentrated on a slope situated close to a river course (Decimal latitude 35.392663; Decimal Longitude 2.985745). During the 2013 field season, upon finding new wildebeest bones at the site, we concluded that the den was active (Fig 1).


Differential predation by age and sex classes in blue wildebeest in Serengeti: study of a modern carnivore den in Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania).

Arriaza MC, Domínguez-Rodrigo M, Martínez-Maza C, Mabulla A, Baquedano E - PLoS ONE (2015)

Location of the den and excavation work in the site.a) b) Location of the den (star) in Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania) c) Excavation work in the slope where the wildebeest bones were concentrated in 2012 d) One of the wildebeest carcasses recovered in 2012 e) One of the wildebeest carcasses recovered in 2013.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4446270&req=5

pone.0125944.g001: Location of the den and excavation work in the site.a) b) Location of the den (star) in Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania) c) Excavation work in the slope where the wildebeest bones were concentrated in 2012 d) One of the wildebeest carcasses recovered in 2012 e) One of the wildebeest carcasses recovered in 2013.
Mentions: Olduvai Gorge is a valley at the western margin of the Eastern Rift Valley in northern Tanzania. The valley cuts the Serengeti Plain, which extends about 110 km northeast toward Lake Victoria [21]. A carnivore den was located close to the third fault of the gorge in 2012 (Olduvai Modern Den, Olduvai Gorge, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Arusha, Tanzania) (Fig 1). It produced a large assemblage composed exclusively of wildebeest bones with conspicuous carnivore marks. The bones were concentrated on a slope situated close to a river course (Decimal latitude 35.392663; Decimal Longitude 2.985745). During the 2013 field season, upon finding new wildebeest bones at the site, we concluded that the den was active (Fig 1).

Bottom Line: We compared our results with previous studies from lion and hyaena kills through multivariate analyses.Female-biased predation was found to contradict classical hypotheses based on territorial male behaviour.These data are crucial for an effective management of the species and the new method created may be useful for different carnivore species and their prey.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Departamento de Geología, Geografía y Medio Ambiente, Universidad de Alcalá, Edificio de Ciencias, Campus Externo, Ctra. A-II-km 33,600 C. P. 28871 Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain; Instituto de Evolución en África (IDEA), Madrid, Spain.

ABSTRACT
Age and sex selection of prey is an aspect of predator ecology which has been extensively studied in both temperate and African ecosystems. This dimension, along with fecundity, survival rates of prey and mortality factors other than predation are important in laying down the population dynamics of prey and have important implications in the management of species. A carnivore den located in the short-grassland ecological unit of the Serengeti was studied. Sex- and age- class (using five age categories) of the wildebeest remains recovered were analyzed through horn morphology, biometrics of the bones and tooth wear patterns. We compared our results with previous studies from lion and hyaena kills through multivariate analyses. Seasonality of the accumulation was analyzed through tooth histology. PCA and CVA results show that age class selection by predators depends on season, habitat-type, and growth rate of the wildebeest population. Female-biased predation was found to contradict classical hypotheses based on territorial male behaviour. The lion and spotted hyaena showed strong selection on age classes, contrary to previous studies. Migratory wildebeest sex ratio is regulated through differential predation by seasons and female deaths in the wet season are a trade-off for population stability. These data are crucial for an effective management of the species and the new method created may be useful for different carnivore species and their prey.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus