Winter supplemental feeding of ungulates potentially alters their use of resources and ecological interactions, yet relatively little is known about the patterns of feeding sites use by target populations. We used camera traps to continuously monitor winter and spring feeding site use in a roe deer population living in a peri-urban area in Northern Italy. We combined circular statistics with generalized additive and linear mixed models to analyze the diel and seasonal pattern of roe deer visits to feeding sites, and the behavioral drivers influencing visit duration. Roe deer visits peaked at dawn and dusk, and decreased from winter to spring when vegetation regrows and temperature increases. Roe deer mostly visited feeding sites solitarily; when this was not the case, they stayed longer at the site, especially when conspecifics were eating, but maintained a bimodal diel pattern of visits. These results support an opportunistic use of feeding sites, following seasonal cycles and the roe deer circadian clock. Yet, the attractiveness of these artificial resources has the potential to alter intra-specific relationships, as competition for their use induces gatherings and may extend the contact time between individuals, with potential behavioral and epidemiological consequences.

Ossi, F.; Ranc, N.; Moorcroft, P.; Bonanni, P.; Cagnacci, F. (2020). Ecological and behavioral drivers of supplemental feeding use by roe deer Capreolus capreolus in a peri-urban context. ANIMALS, 10 (11): 2088. doi: 10.3390/ani10112088 handle: http://hdl.handle.net/10449/65915

Ecological and behavioral drivers of supplemental feeding use by roe deer Capreolus capreolus in a peri-urban context

Ossi, F.
Primo
;
Ranc, N.;Bonanni, P.;Cagnacci, F.
Ultimo
2020-01-01

Abstract

Winter supplemental feeding of ungulates potentially alters their use of resources and ecological interactions, yet relatively little is known about the patterns of feeding sites use by target populations. We used camera traps to continuously monitor winter and spring feeding site use in a roe deer population living in a peri-urban area in Northern Italy. We combined circular statistics with generalized additive and linear mixed models to analyze the diel and seasonal pattern of roe deer visits to feeding sites, and the behavioral drivers influencing visit duration. Roe deer visits peaked at dawn and dusk, and decreased from winter to spring when vegetation regrows and temperature increases. Roe deer mostly visited feeding sites solitarily; when this was not the case, they stayed longer at the site, especially when conspecifics were eating, but maintained a bimodal diel pattern of visits. These results support an opportunistic use of feeding sites, following seasonal cycles and the roe deer circadian clock. Yet, the attractiveness of these artificial resources has the potential to alter intra-specific relationships, as competition for their use induces gatherings and may extend the contact time between individuals, with potential behavioral and epidemiological consequences.
Camera trapping
Competition
Diel cycle
Generalized additive mixed models
Ungulates
Urban ecology
Wildlife management
Settore BIO/07 - ECOLOGIA
2020
Ossi, F.; Ranc, N.; Moorcroft, P.; Bonanni, P.; Cagnacci, F. (2020). Ecological and behavioral drivers of supplemental feeding use by roe deer Capreolus capreolus in a peri-urban context. ANIMALS, 10 (11): 2088. doi: 10.3390/ani10112088 handle: http://hdl.handle.net/10449/65915
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10449/65915
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