Navigation Links
New York squirrels are nuts about city life
Date:7/22/2014

Curtin University-led research has shown squirrels have adapted to New York City's human behaviour, allowing them to thrive just as well, if not better, than their fellow squirrels in the woods.

Dr Bill Bateman, Senior Lecturer at Curtin's Department of Environment & Agriculture, led the study that proved eastern grey squirrels were able to modify their behaviour in urban environments and prevent unnecessary responses when humans acted in a predictable manner, such as staying on the footpath.

"As we rapidly increase the spread of urbanisation around the world, urban areas may end up being important places for some wildlife, so it would be good to know what they like about those areas, what allows them to do well and whether humans want them to be there," Dr Bateman said.

"If we do want them there, we need to know how we can help their continued success, and perhaps encourage other animals to share our urban spaces.

"After watching the clear-cut behaviour of squirrels many times in New York, I decided to take these observations further and determine to what extent squirrels modify their behaviour when approached by humans."

Together with Murdoch University's Associate Professor Trish Fleming the research team measured alert distance, flight initiation distance, and distance fled to see if they could discriminate between pedestrians who look directly at them and those that did not, as well as how they reacted when pedestrians left the footpath.

According to the research, only five per cent of squirrels showed signs of being alerted if the human remained on the footpath and did not look at them, while 90 per cent of squirrels moved away, with longer flight distance, when approached by a pedestrian that moved off the footpaths and looked at them.

"This research shows squirrels are able to modulate their behaviour when humans behave in a predictable manner, reducing unnecessary responses and improving their ability to persist in an urban environment," Dr Bateman said.

"Generally, it seems animals do well in urbanised areas if they can eat a wide range of things and are able to move from one green space to another. Being nocturnal also helps to avoid humans, as well as being behaviourally able to deal with humans and their disturbance, as squirrels do.

"For a squirrel, the city provides a habitat with fewer predators than in the woods, and food tends to be available all year around. Traffic, however, remains the biggest killer for all urban wildlife."

Dr Bateman said in Australia there were many species of birds, mammals and reptiles that live moderately well in urban areas, and had plans to explore their behavioural responses to various human activities in the future.


'/>"/>

Contact: Megan Meates
megan.meates@curtin.edu.au
61-892-664-241
Curtin University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Robosquirrels versus rattlesnakes
2. Red Squirrels showing resistance to squirrelpox
3. Study reveals new ways deadly squirrelpox is transmitted to red squirrels
4. Protecting mainland Europe from an invasion of grey squirrels
5. Teaching about hearing can save young peoples ears
6. A birds song may teach us about human speech disorders
7. Fielding questions about climate change
8. New research about facial recognition turns common wisdom on its head
9. New discoveries about brain-hand connection sought to improve therapies, treatments, prosthetics
10. Expedition to undersea mountain yields new information about sub-seafloor structure
11. Consumers need simple, concise messages about benefits of phytonutrients
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
New York squirrels are nuts about city life
(Date:4/11/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... ... grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during the period 2017-2021. ... prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry ... over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 5, 2017 Today HYPR ... that the server component of the HYPR platform is ... providing the end-to-end security architecture that empowers biometric authentication ... HYPR has already secured over 15 million users across ... manufacturers of connected home product suites and physical access ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... The research team of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) ... ground breaking 3D fingerprint minutiae recovery and matching technology, pushing contactless ... use in identification, crime investigation, immigration control, security of access and ... ... A research team led by Dr Ajay Kumar ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/25/2017)... , April 25, 2017 ... has licensed its novel immune-modulating technology to an undisclosed ... and allergy. Tregitopes, pronounced T·rej·itopes, are ... immunoglobulin by EpiVax CEO Annie De Groot ... intravenous immunoglobulin G, an autoimmune disease therapy, Tregitopes ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... 24, 2017 , ... It is well established that ligand ... broad application of this cellular target engagement concept to drug discovery has been ... stabilization assays are valuable methods for particular applications, but they can require target-specific ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The University of Connecticut, in partnership with ... startups through the UConn Innovation Fund. The $1.5 million UConn Innovation Fund was ... , The UConn Innovation Fund provides investments of up to $100,000 to companies ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... Frederick Innovative ... range of emerging technology-based businesses, recently earned a $77,518 grant from the Rural ... Founded in 2004, FITCI is Frederick’s first incubator. A non-profit corporation, FITCI is ...
Breaking Biology Technology: