Applying patch use to assess aspects of foraging behavior in Nubian ibex

B. P. Kotler, J. E. Gross, W. A. Mitchell

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78 Scopus citations


As an extension of the marginal value theorem an animal should leave a food patch when its harvest rate of food equals the sum of its energetic and predation costs arising from foraging and its missed opportunity costs arising from foregoing other activities. A technique derived from this theory involves presenting foragers with depletable food patches and measuring food density remaining after foraging. The food density remaining is a measurement of an animal's foraging efficiency and can be used to measure various foraging inputs. The authors applied the technique to Capra ibex. Ibex tended to consume food from patches until the food occurred at similar densities across patches. The technique can be used to determine food preference. Patch use by ibex led to indirect effects on competitive relationships between food plant species (short-term apparent competition). Ibex foraging effort changed with resource density, and predatory risk affected patch use by ibex. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-307
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Wildlife Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1994


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