Surrounded by challenges: the simulated presence of competitors and predators modulates perianal secretion marking behaviour in the european mink (Mustela lutreola)
EntityUAM. Departamento de Biología
10.1016/j.beproc.2021.104508Behavioural Processes 193 (2021): 104508
SubjectsEnvironmental cues; European mink; Intraspecific competition; Perianal secretion marking behaviour; Predation risk; Scent communication; Biología y Biomedicina / Biología
Rights© 2021 The Authors
Esta obra está bajo una licencia de Creative Commons Reconocimiento-NoComercial-SinObraDerivada 4.0 Internacional.
Animals face a variety of daily challenges to their reproduction and survival that can detect in time through to the environment cues. By using an individual focal sampling, we evaluated the variations in the time devoted to the perianal secretion marking behaviour (PSMB) of European mink when they were exposed to the simulated presence of conspecifics and two potential predators. Model results indicated that males and adult individuals dedicated more time to PSMB than females and subadults. The presence of conspecifics increased PSMB time only in adult and males, probably as an intrasexual territorial competence response. The heightened decrease in PSMB time in presence of a dog suggests an innate response due to the detection of volatile substances from faeces of carnivorous. In addition, simulated conspecific presence increased PSMB in absence of odours (control) and with owl faeces. However, when facing dog faeces, the simulated conspecific presence had no effects on PSMB. Thus, minks seem to prioritize the imminent risk of predation to avoid being detected. The stimulation of PSMB in captivity by simulated cues from conspecifics and potential predators could be useful to facilitate the reintroduction of individuals into nature, as well as their adaptation and survival
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