Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

    We have a manual that explains all the features 

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Fine-scale tracking of ambient temperature and movement reveals shuttling behavior of elephants to water
Thaker, Maria ; Gupte, Pratik R. ; Prins, Herbert H.T. ; Slotow, Rob ; Vanak, Abi T. - \ 2019
Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 7 (2019)JAN. - ISSN 2296-701X
GPS telemetry - Habitat - Loxodonta africana - Shuttle - Temperature - Thermoregulation - Water

Movement strategies of animals have been well studied as a function of ecological drivers (e.g., forage selection and avoiding predation) rather than physiological requirements (e.g., thermoregulation). Thermal stress is a major concern for large mammals, especially for savanna elephants (Loxodonta africana), which have amongst the greatest challenge for heat dissipation in hot and arid environments. Therefore, elephants must make decisions about where and how fast to move to reduce thermal stress. We tracked 14 herds of elephant in Kruger National Park (KNP), South Africa, for 2 years, using GPS collars with inbuilt temperature sensors to examine the influence of temperature on movement strategies, particularly when accessing water. We first confirmed that collar-mounted temperature loggers captured hourly variation in relative ambient temperatures across the landscape, and, thus, could be used to predict elephant movement strategies at fine spatio-temporal scales. We found that elephants moved slower in more densely wooded areas, but, unexpectedly, moved faster at higher temperatures, especially in the wet season compared to the dry season. Notably, this speed of movement was highest when elephants were approaching and leaving water sources. Visits to water showed a periodic shuttling pattern, with a peak return rate of 10-30 h, wherein elephants were closest to water during the hotter times of the day, and spent longer at water sources in the dry season compared to the wet season. When elephants left water, they showed low fidelity to the same water source, and traveled farther in the dry season than in the wet season. In KNP, where water is easily accessible, and the risk of poaching is low, we found that elephants use short, high-speed bursts of movement to get to water at hotter times of day. This strategy not only provides the benefit of predation risk avoidance, but also allows them to use water to thermoregulate. We demonstrate that ambient temperature is an important predictor of movement and water use across the landscape, with elephants responding facultatively to a "landscape of thermal stress."

The fatal flaws of compassionate conservation
Oommen, Meera Anna ; Cooney, Rosie ; Ramesh, Madhuri ; Archer, Michael ; Brockington, Daniel ; Buscher, Bram ; Fletcher, Robert ; Natusch, Daniel J.D. ; Vanak, Abi T. ; Webb, Grahame ; Shanker, Kartik - \ 2019
Conservation Biology 33 (2019)4. - ISSN 0888-8892 - p. 784 - 787.
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