Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Shy elk more likely to elude hunters

Date:
September 4, 2012
Source:
University of Alberta
Summary:
New research shows that an elk's personality type is a big factor in whether or not it survives the hunting season. Data collected from GPS collars on more than 100 male and female elk in southwestern Alberta showed researchers the study population could be divided into two categories: "bold runners" and "shy hiders."

Elk.
Credit: Sidney Cromer / Fotolia

University of Alberta-led research shows that an elk's personality type is a big factor in whether or not it survives the hunting season.

Related Articles


Data collected from GPS collars on more than 100 male and female elk in southwestern Alberta showed U of A researchers the study population could be divided into two categories: "bold runners" and "shy hiders."

Bold-runner elk, both males and females, moved quickly through the study area and preferred to graze in open fields for the most abundant and nutritious grass.

Lead U of A researcher Simone Ciuti says shy hiders behaved very differently, choosing to graze on the sparse vegetation of wooded areas and moving slowly and cautiously.

The research also showed that far more bold-runners were taken by elk hunters than shy hiders.

Ciuti says this is the first time an animal's personality type has been linked to survival in a hunting season.

"Up until now, it was believed the physical traits of an elk dictated what animals were taken by hunters," said Ciuti. "Big male elk with large antler racks are traditionally the prime target for hunters."

Ciuti says GPS data collected over one hunting season shows hunters are going for the most visible or available elk; thus, more bold-runner elk showed up in the scopes of high-powered rifles.

Ciuti says GPS collars were put on a specific group of male elk.

"For the study, 45 two-and-a-half-year-old male elk were collared," explained Ciuti. "At two-and-a-half years of age, this was the first time these young males were eligible hunting targets." Thirty-three per cent of the males were taken by hunters. All were identified by GPS data as bold runners.

The researchers found that the same held true for a wider age group of 77 female elk in the study. All females between two and nine years of age and identified as bold runners were taken by hunters. All the female elk in that age group identified as shy hiders survived the hunt.

Ciuti says the data showed something interesting in the survival rate of older female elk.

"All the females older than nine years survived the hunting season. That shows us that in female elk, whether they're bold runners or shy hiders, if they lived to nine years of age, they adapted to hunters and became less visible targets."

U of A biology professor Mark Boyce was a co-author and principal investigator on the research. Their work was published Sept. 5 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alberta. The original article was written by Brian Murphy. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. Ciuti, T. B. Muhly, D. G. Paton, A. D. McDevitt, M. Musiani, M. S. Boyce. Human selection of elk behavioural traits in a landscape of fear. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2012; DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2012.1483

Cite This Page:

University of Alberta. "Shy elk more likely to elude hunters." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120904193744.htm>.
University of Alberta. (2012, September 4). Shy elk more likely to elude hunters. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120904193744.htm
University of Alberta. "Shy elk more likely to elude hunters." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120904193744.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nanoscale Sensor Could Help Wine Producers and Clinical Scientists

Nanoscale Sensor Could Help Wine Producers and Clinical Scientists

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 30, 2015) A nanosensor that mimics the oral effects and sensations of drinking wine has been developed by Danish and Portuguese researchers. Jim Drury saw it in operation. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dog-Loving Astronaut Wins Best Photo of 2015

Dog-Loving Astronaut Wins Best Photo of 2015

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) Retired astronaut and television host, Leland Melvin, snuck his dogs into the NASA studio so they could be in his official photo. As Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) shows us, the secret is out. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The U.S. has proposed analyzing genetic information from more than 1 million American volunteers to learn how genetic variants affect health and disease. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rarest Cat on Planet Caught Attacking Monkeys on Camera

Rarest Cat on Planet Caught Attacking Monkeys on Camera

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) An African Golden Cat, the rarest large cat on the planet was recently caught on camera by scientists trying to study monkeys. The cat comes out of nowhere to attack those monkeys. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) has the rest. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins