Changes in foraging behaviour suggest competition between wild and domestic ungulates: Guanaco and domestic sheep in southern Patagonia
Moraga, Claudio A.
von Hardenberg, Achaz
AffiliationUniversity of Chester; Universidad Austral de Chile; Centro de Estudios del Cuaternario de Fuego-Patagonia y Antártica (Fundación CEQUA); University of Florida; Universidad de Magallanes
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AbstractPrevious attempts to address the presence of interspecific competition between domestic livestock and wild ungulates have focused largely on habitat or dietary overlaps. Although overlaps in habitat or diet create opportunities for competition to occur between species, competition only results from such overlap if it affects one or both species negatively. Less attention has been afforded to possible behavioural modifications induced in wildlife by competition with domestic livestock. Here, we investigated the effects of the presence of livestock on feeding behaviour of guanaco (Lama guanicoe) in southern Patagonia, using focal sampling of individuals during foraging bouts, with instantaneous scan samples to estimate group behavioural budgets. We recorded guanaco bite and step rates, used as proxies of foraging intake and selectivity, from four different study sites over eight consecutive seasons. We also estimated sheep and guanaco densities per site, along with vegetation biomass availability. As in other ungulates, bite rates of guanaco appear to be highly flexible and generally increased with vegetation biomass availability. However, as sheep densities and thus additional grazing pressure increased, guanaco foraging strategy compensated by increasing bite rates when foraging vegetation was scarce, indicating further likelihood of competition. Additionally, scan samples indicated that the probability of guanaco feeding occurring at any one time was higher in areas shared with domestic sheep compared to national parks, suggesting guanaco have to focus more on feeding than other behaviours when sheep are present.
CitationLancaster, A., Corti, P., Fernández, T., Moraga, C. A., Radic-Schilling, S., & von Hardenberg, A. (2022). Changes in foraging behaviour suggest competition between wild and domestic ungulates: Guanaco and domestic sheep in southern Patagonia. Journal of Zoology, 317(3), 213-228. https://doi.org/10.1111/jzo.12971
JournalJournal of Zoology
DescriptionThis is the peer reviewed version of the following article: [Lancaster, A., Corti, P., Fernández, T., Moraga, C. A., Radic-Schilling, S., & von Hardenberg, A. (2022). Changes in foraging behaviour suggest competition between wild and domestic ungulates: Guanaco and domestic sheep in southern Patagonia. Journal of Zoology, 317(3), 213-228], which has been published in final form at [https://doi.org/10.1111/jzo.12971]. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.
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