Top carnivores increase their kill rates on prey as a response to human-induced fear Justine A. Smith, Yiwei Wang, Christopher C. Wilmers January, 2015 California

California Urban Deer Management News and Information Archive



... The study shows that when female pumas kill deer near housing, they spend less time than normal eating the carcass. That in turn leads them to chase and kill more animals ... Smith hasn't researched the effect on deer numbers, but thinks they could fall in line with the pumas' more aggressive behavior... [study below]

Top carnivores increase their kill rates on prey as a response to human-induced fear  Justine A. Smith, Yiwei Wang, Christopher C. Wilmers January, 2015 California
... We observed strong behavioural responses by female pumas to human development, whereby their fidelity to kill sites and overall consumption time of prey declined with increasing housing density by 36 and 42%, respectively. Females responded to this decline in prey consumption time by increasing the number of deer they killed in high housing density areas by 36% over what they killed in areas with little residential development. The loss of food from declines in prey consumption time paired with increases in energetic costs associated with killing more prey may have consequences for puma populations, particularly with regard to reproductive success. In addition, greater carcass availability is likely to alter community dynamics by augmenting food resources for scavengers...



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