LAYERED LANDSCAPES OF FEAR: BLACK-TAILED DEER NAVIGATE SPATIOTEMPORAL VARIATION IN RISK FROM HUNTERS AND CARNIVORES.
Kaitlyn M Gaynor; University of California - Berkeley; kgaynor@berkeley.edu; Alex McInturff, Justin S. Brashares
Animals experience landscapes of fear, often conceptualized as static patterns of risk from one predator. However, prey usually face spatiotemporally-variable risk from several predators. We studied how black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus) navigate multiscalar risk from hunters and mountain lions (Puma concolor) at the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center in Mendocino County. To model spatiotemporal variability in hunter encounter and kill risk, we compiled 20 years of harvest data and deployed fine-scale GPS trackers on >300 hunters. We modeled mountain lion spatial occupancy and temporal activity using a grid of 38 camera traps. Finally, we used camera trap data and GPS collars on 13 deer to assess spatiotemporal responses of deer to patterns of risk. Hunters and mountain lions exhibit strong patterns of space use, with hunters active near roads, and lions adjacent to BLM land. Within these activity areas, hunters are diurnal and kill more deer in open habitats, while mountain lions are more nocturnal, killing deer in closed habitats. Deer do not avoid areas of predator activity outright, but seasonally adjust the timing of their activity and habitat selection to balance risk. We highlight non-lethal effects of hunting and predation on an economically and ecologically important game species.
Ecology and Conservation of Mammals II   Student Paper