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Civil war is associated with longer escape distances among Sri Lankan birds - flight-initiation distances of Sri Lankan birds

Citation

Weston, Michael; Symonds, Matthew (2021), Civil war is associated with longer escape distances among Sri Lankan birds - flight-initiation distances of Sri Lankan birds, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.q83bk3jj2

Abstract

War influences wildlife in a variety of ways but may influence their escape responses to approaching threats, including humans, because of its effect on human populations and behaviour, and landscape change. We collected 1,400 Flight-Initiation Distances (FIDs) from 157 bird species in the dry zone of Sri Lanka, where civil war raged for 26 years, ending in 2009. Accounting for factors known to influence FIDs (phylogeny, starting distance of approaches, body mass, prevailing human density, group size and location), we found birds have longer FIDs in the part of the dry zone which experienced civil war. Larger birds, often preferred by human hunters, showed greater increases in FID in the war zone, consistent with the idea that war was associated with greater hunting pressure, that larger birds experienced longer-lasting trauma, or had more plastic escape behaviour, than smaller species. While the mechanisms linking the war and avian escape responses remain ambiguous, wars evidently leave legacies which extend to behavioural responses in birds.

Methods

Please see the read_me file, manuscript, the code, and the phylogeny. 

Usage Notes

Please see the read_me file, manuscript, the code, and the phylogeny. 

Funding

None*, Award: N/A

None