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Proc Biol Sci. 2006 Jun 7;273(1592):1421-7.

Cross-continental differences in patterns of predation: will naive moose in Scandinavia ever learn?

Author information

1
Grimsö Research Station, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, 730 91 Riddarhyttan, Sweden. hakan.sand@nvb.slu

Abstract

Predation has been recognized as a major selective force in the evolution of behavioural characteristics of mammals. As a consequence of local predator extinction, prey may lose knowledge about natural predators but usually express behavioural adjustments after return of predators. Human harvest may replace natural predation but prey selection may differ from that of natural predators leading to a change in the behavioural response of prey. We show that hunting success (HS) of re-colonizing wolves (Canis lupus) on moose (Alces alces) in Scandinavia was higher than reported in North America, where moose have been continuously exposed to wolves and grizzly bears. We found no evidence that moose expressed behavioural adjustments that lowered the HS of wolves in territories that had been occupied by wolves for up to 21 years. Moose behaviour towards wolves and humans typically differs in Scandinavia compared to North America. We explain the differences found to be caused by variation in predation pressure by large carnivores and the rate, and mode, of human harvest during the twentieth century.

PMID:
16777732
PMCID:
PMC1560300
DOI:
10.1098/rspb.2005.3447
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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