Predator facilitation: the combined effect of snakes and owls on the foraging behavior of gerbils

B. P. Kotler, L. Blaustein, J. S. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

177 Scopus citations

Abstract

Predator facilitation occurs when prey face two or more predator species and cannot forage and be safe from both types of predators simultaneously: avoiding one predator necessarily leads to increased exposure to the other. Two species of coexisting gerbils (Gerbillus allenbyi and G. pyramidum) which coexist in sandy habitats in the Negev Desert, Israel may face such conflicting demands from vipers and owls. Gerbils responded to owls by reducing foraging activity, avoiding the open microhabitat, and exploiting resource patches less intensively. Also, G. pyramidum showed a significant light × snake × owl interaction indicative of predator facilitation: gerbils avoided the open entirely when faced with light and owls, but increased their exposure to owls if vipers were also present. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-206
Number of pages8
JournalAnnales Zoologici Fennici
Volume29
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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