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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Tom Smulders
Many animals use hoarding as a long-term strategy to ensure a food supply at times of shortage. We suggest that long-term scatter hoarders, whose caches are vulnerable to potentially high pilferage, should hoard in ways to reduce cache loss. This could be achieved by manipulating the density and dispersal patterns of caches to reduce the foraging efficiency of pilferers. This study explores the effect of distribution patterns on cache loss in the laboratory. We recorded the discovery of food items in different dispersal patterns by two bird species: coal tits Periparus ater (a hoarder) and great tits Parus major (a non-hoarder). Hyper-dispersed distributions reduced foraging efficiency because both species used systematic local search patterns. This study shows that hyper-dispersed distributions would be advantageous to hoarding animals to reduce cache loss. © Journal of Avian Biology.
Author(s): Male L, Smulders T
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Journal of Avian Biology
ISSN (print): 0908-8857
ISSN (electronic): 1600-048X
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
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