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 Do enclosure characteristics affect anti-predator behaviour in the European bison (Bison bonasus)?
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
2009 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Animals raised in captivity often fail to express appropriate anti-predator behaviour when reintroduced into the wild. The European bison (Bison bonasus) is a species that was close to extinction in the early 20th century but was saved in the last moment by intense captive breeding and subsequent reintroduction into the wild. In this study, seven groups of European bison living in different locations in Sweden were studied to investigate whether there was any difference in the anti-predator behaviour depending on the type of enclosure they were kept in. Olfactory and auditory stimuli from moose, as a control, and from two predators, wolf and bear, and visual stimulus (silhouette of a wolf) were presented to the animals and their response to them and behaviour following presentation were analysed. The results showed that European bison kept in barren enclosures responded stronger to auditory stimuli than those that were kept in naturalistic enclosures. The results further showed that the animals had a stronger response to the visual stimulus than to the auditory stimuli. The animals changed their behaviour after stimuli presentations compared to a pre-test baseline. They moved, stood still and ate for a significantly longer period of time and they rested for a shorter period of time after being presented olfactory, auditory and visual stimuli than during pre-test baseline.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , 15 p.
Keyword [en]
Auditory, behaviour, enclosure, European bison, olfactory, predator, visual
National Category
Biological Sciences Ecology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-19942ISRN: LiTH-IFM- Ex—09/2129--SEOAI: diva2:231777
Planck, Linköpings universitet, Linköping (English)
Life Earth Science
Available from: 2009-08-18 Created: 2009-08-17 Last updated: 2009-08-18Bibliographically approved

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Hofling, Annika
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