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Data from: Disturbance and predation risk influence vigilance synchrony of Black-necked Cranes Grus nigricollis, but not as strongly as expected

Citation

Kong, Dejun; Møller, Anders Pape; Zhang, Yanyun (2022), Data from: Disturbance and predation risk influence vigilance synchrony of Black-necked Cranes Grus nigricollis, but not as strongly as expected, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.5mkkwh73j

Abstract

Animals monitor surrounding dangers independently or cooperatively (synchronized and coordinated vigilance), with independent and synchronized scanning being prevalent. Coordinated vigilance, including unique sentinel behaviour, is rare in nature, since it is time-consuming and limited in terms of benefits. No evidence showed animals adopt alternative vigilance strategies during antipredation scanning yet. Considering the non-independent nature of both synchronization and coordination, we assessed whether group members could keep alert synchronously or in a coordinated fashion under different circumstance. We studied how human behaviour and species-specific variables impacted individual and collective vigilance of globally threatened black-necked cranes (Grus nigricollis) and explored behaviour-based wildlife management. We tested both predation risk (number of juveniles in group) and human disturbance (level and distance) effects on individual and collective antipredation vigilance of black-necked crane families. Adults spent significantly more time (proportion and duration) on scanning than juveniles, and parents with juveniles behaved more vigilant. Both adults and juveniles increased time allocation and duration on vigilance with observer proximity. Deviation between observed and expected collective vigilance varied with disturbance and predation risk from zero, but not significantly so, indicating that an independent vigilance strategy was adopted by black-necked crane couples. The birds showed synchronized vigilance in low disturbance areas, with fewer juveniles and far from observers; otherwise, they scanned in coordinated fashion. The collective vigilance, from synchronized to coordinated pattern, varied as a function of observer distance that helped us determine a safe distance of 403.75m for the most vulnerable family groups with two juveniles. We argue that vigilance could constitute a prime indicator in behaviour-based species conservation, and we suggesting a safe distance of at least 400m should be considered in future tourist management.Animals monitor surrounding dangers independently or cooperatively (synchronized and coordinated vigilance), with independent and synchronized scanning being prevalent. Coordinated vigilance, including unique sentinel behaviour, is rare in nature, since it is time-consuming and limited in terms of benefits. No evidence showed animals adopt alternative vigilance strategies during antipredation scanning yet. Considering the non-independent nature of both synchronization and coordination, we assessed whether group members could keep alert synchronously or in a coordinated fashion under different circumstance. We studied how human behaviour and species-specific variables impacted individual and collective vigilance of globally threatened black-necked cranes (Grus nigricollis) and explored behaviour-based wildlife management. We tested both predation risk (number of juveniles in group) and human disturbance (level and distance) effects on individual and collective antipredation vigilance of black-necked crane families. Adults spent significantly more time (proportion and duration) on scanning than juveniles, and parents with juveniles behaved more vigilant. Both adults and juveniles increased time allocation and duration on vigilance with observer proximity. Deviation between observed and expected collective vigilance varied with disturbance and predation risk from zero, but not significantly so, indicating that an independent vigilance strategy was adopted by black-necked crane couples. The birds showed synchronized vigilance in low disturbance areas, with fewer juveniles and far from observers; otherwise, they scanned in coordinated fashion. The collective vigilance, from synchronized to coordinated pattern, varied as a function of observer distance that helped us determine a safe distance of 403.75m for the most vulnerable family groups with two juveniles. We argue that vigilance could constitute a prime indicator in behaviour-based species conservation, and we suggesting a safe distance of at least 400m should be considered in future tourist management.

Funding

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 31201725; 31760624