Data from: Do prey select for vacant hunting domains to minimize a multi-predator threat?
Kohl, Michel T. et al. (2019), Data from: Do prey select for vacant hunting domains to minimize a multi-predator threat?, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.28d5v76
Many ecosystems contain sympatric predator species that hunt in different places and times. We tested whether this provides vacant hunting domains, places and times where and when predators are least active, that prey use to minimize threats from multiple predators simultaneously. We measured how northern Yellowstone elk (Cervus elaphus) responded to wolves (Canis lupus) and cougars (Puma concolor), and found that elk selected for areas outside the high‐risk domains of both predators consistent with the vacant domain hypothesis. This enabled elk to avoid one predator without necessarily increasing its exposure to the other. Our results demonstrate how the diel cycle can serve as a key axis of the predator hunting domain that prey exploit to manage predation risk from multiple sources. We argue that a multi‐predator, spatiotemporal framework is vital to understand the causes and consequences of prey spatial response to predation risk in environments with more than one predator.
National Science Foundation, Award: DEB–1245373; DEB–0078130
northern Yellowstone National Park