Relationship between moonlight and nightly activity patterns of the ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) and some of its prey species in Formosa, Northern Argentina

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10545/620691
Title:
Relationship between moonlight and nightly activity patterns of the ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) and some of its prey species in Formosa, Northern Argentina
Authors:
Huck, Maren ( 0000-0002-7740-3903 ) ; Juárez, Cecilia P.; Fernández-Duque, Eduardo
Abstract:
The moon can profoundly influence the activity patterns of animals. If predators are more successful under bright moonlight, prey species are likely to respond by shifting their own activity patterns (predator-avoidance hypothesis). However, the assumption that prey will necessarily avoid full-moon nights does not take into account that moonlight also allows prey to more easily detect predators, and to forage more efficiently. Thus, nightly activity patterns could depend on night vision capabilities (visual-acuity hypothesis). To consider the possible influences of moonlight and to distinguish between these hypotheses, we used camera-trapping records of a predator, the ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), and several of its night-active prey to compare activity patterns under different moonlight conditions. The ocelots' activity patterns were not strongly related to moonlight, but showed a slight tendency for higher activity during brighter nights. Tapeti rabbits (Sylvilagus brasiliensis) and brocket deer (Mazama americana) showed a clear preference for brighter nights. White-eared opossums (Didelphis albiventris) also showed a trend to be less active in new moon light. In contrast, smaller grey four-eyed opossums (Philander opossum) and the poor eye-sight nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) showed similar activity patterns across all moon phases. Since activity patterns of most prey species were not shifted away from the activity of the ocelot, the differences between species are probably linked to their night vision capabilities, and emphasise the need for more information on the visual system of these taxa. Their activity patterns seem to be less strongly linked to avoidance of predation than previously thought, suggesting that foraging and predator detection benefits may play a more important role than usually acknowledged.
Affiliation:
University of Derby
Citation:
Huck, Maren, Juarez, Cecilia P., Fernandez-Duque, Eduardo, (2017) 'Relationship between moonlight and nightly activity patterns of the ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) and some of its prey species in Formosa,' Northern Argentina.Mammalian Biology, Vol. 82, pp. 57-64. DOI: 10.1016/j.mambio.2016.10.005
Publisher:
Elsevier
Journal:
Mammalian Biology - Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde
Issue Date:
Oct-2016
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10545/620691
DOI:
10.1016/j.mambio.2016.10.005
Additional Links:
http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1616504716301495
Type:
Article
Language:
en
ISSN:
16165047
Sponsors:
The cameras were partly funded by a National Geographic Society/Waitt grant to MH (grant number NGS 1072-78) and partly by quality-related funding through the Research Excellence Framework to the Biological Sciences Research Group of the University of Derby. The long-term camera-trap monitoring was in part made possible through grants to EFD and the Owl Monkey Project from the L.S.B. Leakey Foundation, National Geographic Society and the National Science Foundation of the USA (NSF-BCS-0621020, 0837921 (REU), 0924352 (REU), 1026991 (REU), 1219368 (RAPID) and 1232349 (2012).
Appears in Collections:
Environmental Sustainability Research Centre

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorHuck, Marenen
dc.contributor.authorJuárez, Cecilia P.en
dc.contributor.authorFernández-Duque, Eduardoen
dc.date.accessioned2016-11-03T15:51:42Z-
dc.date.available2016-11-03T15:51:42Z-
dc.date.issued2016-10-
dc.identifier.citationHuck, Maren, Juarez, Cecilia P., Fernandez-Duque, Eduardo, (2017) 'Relationship between moonlight and nightly activity patterns of the ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) and some of its prey species in Formosa,' Northern Argentina.Mammalian Biology, Vol. 82, pp. 57-64. DOI: 10.1016/j.mambio.2016.10.005en
dc.identifier.issn16165047-
dc.identifier.doi10.1016/j.mambio.2016.10.005-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10545/620691-
dc.description.abstractThe moon can profoundly influence the activity patterns of animals. If predators are more successful under bright moonlight, prey species are likely to respond by shifting their own activity patterns (predator-avoidance hypothesis). However, the assumption that prey will necessarily avoid full-moon nights does not take into account that moonlight also allows prey to more easily detect predators, and to forage more efficiently. Thus, nightly activity patterns could depend on night vision capabilities (visual-acuity hypothesis). To consider the possible influences of moonlight and to distinguish between these hypotheses, we used camera-trapping records of a predator, the ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), and several of its night-active prey to compare activity patterns under different moonlight conditions. The ocelots' activity patterns were not strongly related to moonlight, but showed a slight tendency for higher activity during brighter nights. Tapeti rabbits (Sylvilagus brasiliensis) and brocket deer (Mazama americana) showed a clear preference for brighter nights. White-eared opossums (Didelphis albiventris) also showed a trend to be less active in new moon light. In contrast, smaller grey four-eyed opossums (Philander opossum) and the poor eye-sight nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) showed similar activity patterns across all moon phases. Since activity patterns of most prey species were not shifted away from the activity of the ocelot, the differences between species are probably linked to their night vision capabilities, and emphasise the need for more information on the visual system of these taxa. Their activity patterns seem to be less strongly linked to avoidance of predation than previously thought, suggesting that foraging and predator detection benefits may play a more important role than usually acknowledged.en
dc.description.sponsorshipThe cameras were partly funded by a National Geographic Society/Waitt grant to MH (grant number NGS 1072-78) and partly by quality-related funding through the Research Excellence Framework to the Biological Sciences Research Group of the University of Derby. The long-term camera-trap monitoring was in part made possible through grants to EFD and the Owl Monkey Project from the L.S.B. Leakey Foundation, National Geographic Society and the National Science Foundation of the USA (NSF-BCS-0621020, 0837921 (REU), 0924352 (REU), 1026991 (REU), 1219368 (RAPID) and 1232349 (2012).en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherElsevieren
dc.relation.urlhttp://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1616504716301495en
dc.rightsArchived with thanks to Mammalian Biology - Zeitschrift für Säugetierkundeen
dc.subjectCamera trappingen
dc.subjectLunar activityen
dc.subjectNight visionen
dc.subjectPredator-prey interactionen
dc.titleRelationship between moonlight and nightly activity patterns of the ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) and some of its prey species in Formosa, Northern Argentinaen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.contributor.departmentUniversity of Derbyen
dc.identifier.journalMammalian Biology - Zeitschrift für Säugetierkundeen
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