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:1/12/2017)... -- Trovagene, Inc. (NASDAQ: TROV ), a developer ... it has signed agreements with seven strategic partners across ... Middle East for commercialization of the Trovera™ ... of international distribution agreements for Trovagene,s CLIA based liquid ... The initial partners will introduce Trovagene,s liquid biopsy tests ...
(Date:1/6/2017)... LA JOLLA, Calif. , Jan. 6, 2017 ... Phase 1 safety studies in healthy volunteers of ... CM4620, intended to treat acute pancreatitis. ... pancreas, is typically a mild disorder, but can ... to organ failure and sepsis, where extended hospital ...
(Date:1/3/2017)... Onitor, provider of digital health technology for ... innovative biometric data-driven program designed to aid weight loss ... 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las ... the World Health Organization (WHO), have identified lifestyle risks ... are overweight or obese. WHO also states that more ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... January 17, 2017 , ... One Million Solutions ... (SafeTEC™), $3 million in investment towards 15+ TEC Validation Projects™. As a pre-competitive ... their applicability in drug safety assessment, for the industry as a whole. , ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... -- On January 10 at the Medtech Showcase held in ... in San Francisco , ProclaRx CEO, ... pharmaceutical leaders and public and private investors about the ... destroy biofilms.  Biofilms are a physical ... body,s immune system from eradicating chronic infections. Infections with biofilms ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... , Jan. 16, 2017  Eurofins Genomics today ... will allow more customers to receive their primers in ... or compromise in quality found with other providers. Express ... United States at no additional fee. ... routine genetic studies, including DNA sequencing, genotyping, site-directed mutagenesis, ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global ... ... CAGR of 16.83% during the period 2017-2021. The report ... market for 2017-2021. To calculate the market size, the report considers the ... also includes a a discussion of the key vendors operating in this ...
Breaking Biology Technology: