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Foraging behaviour of two rodent species inhabiting a kopje (rocky outcrop) in Tsavo West National Park, Kenya

Fanson, Benjamin G., Fanson, Kerry V. and Brown, Joel S. 2008, Foraging behaviour of two rodent species inhabiting a kopje (rocky outcrop) in Tsavo West National Park, Kenya, African zoology, vol. 43, no. 2, pp. 184-191, doi: 10.3377/1562-7020-43.2.184.

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Title Foraging behaviour of two rodent species inhabiting a kopje (rocky outcrop) in Tsavo West National Park, Kenya
Author(s) Fanson, Benjamin G.
Fanson, Kerry V.ORCID iD for Fanson, Kerry V. orcid.org/0000-0001-9372-2018
Brown, Joel S.
Journal name African zoology
Volume number 43
Issue number 2
Start page 184
End page 191
Total pages 8
Publisher Universiteit Stellenbosch, Department of Botany and Zoology
Place of publication Stellenbosch, South Africa
Publication date 2008-10
ISSN 1562-7020
2224-073X
Keyword(s) giving-up densities
foraging ecology
kopje
lunar
Summary We employed patch use theory to evaluate how several environmental factors influence the foraging behaviour of two rodent species: Grammomys dolichurus and Acomys cahirinus. Foraging efficiency was determined by measuring the remaining food in artificial food patches (giving-up densities: GUDs) from two experiments. In the first experiment, we placed patches in different microhabitat types (cover vs open) and at varying distances from cover. This experiment was conducted during three moon stages (waxing, full, waning). We found that the rodents had higher GUDs (lower foraging efficiency) in the open microhabitat. The distance from nearest shelter had a marginally significant positive effect on GUDs. GUDs were higher in both microhabitat types during the waxing and full phases, but decreased sharply once the moon began to rise after sunset. These results are likely due to higher predation risk away from cover and in more illuminated environments. In the second experiment, we examined mouse responses to seeds impregnated with plant toxins. Seeds impregnated with oxalic acid were avoided by the rodents, while seeds soaked in tannic acid did not differ significantly from control seeds. Our results highlight important ecological factors affecting the foraging behaviour of these rodents.
Language eng
DOI 10.3377/1562-7020-43.2.184
Field of Research 060201 Behavioural Ecology
060604 Comparative Physiology
060806 Animal Physiological Ecology
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2008, Universiteit Stellenbosch, Department of Botany and Zoology
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30047803

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.