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Linking personality and health to use of space in the gray partridge: perspectives for management.

Abstract : Behavioral adjustments are of critical importance for the survival of animals when exposed to risk and resource variations in their environment. Moving to safer habitats allows prey to reduce the risk of mortality triggered by predation. This response has been well studied at the population level to assist in identifying key habitat components for wildlife conservation. However, while individuals may differ in their response to risk and thus in their survival expectancy, the determinants of individual adjustments in space and habitat use are largely unknown in management and conservation studies. Using GPS monitoring, we investigated the relationship between individual traits (morphometry, personality, health status) and adjustments in the use of space relative to risky features (hedgerows, roads/tracks, woodlands, built-up areas) with regard to predation risk. We used the gray partridge (Perdix perdix) as a study model (captive-reared birds released into the farmlands). During the diel cycle, predation risk mainly occurs by carnivores at night, whereas human hunting pressure occurs during the day. We found that personality and health status had an effect on adjustments in the use of space as response to risky features. At night, when carnivore activity is expected to be high, bolder individuals were farther from hedgerows relative to the day. Similarly, individuals in good health were located farther from hedgerows, roads/tracks, and woodland at night relative to the day. We discuss the need for better consideration of individual traits in management and conservation programs, with a particular focus on recovery programs that rely on translocation of captive-reared individuals.
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Submitted on : Monday, August 30, 2021 - 2:57:11 PM
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Clément Harmange, Vincent Bretagnolle, Olivier Pays, Mathieu Sarasa, Jérôme Moreau. Linking personality and health to use of space in the gray partridge: perspectives for management.. European Journal of Wildlife Research, Springer Verlag, 2021, 67 (5), pp.81. ⟨10.1007/s10344-021-01526-x⟩. ⟨hal-03328949⟩



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