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Foraging site recursion by forest elephants Elephas maximus borneensis

English, M., Ancrenaz, M., Gillespie, G., Goossens, Benoit, Nathan, S. and Linklater, W. 2014. Foraging site recursion by forest elephants Elephas maximus borneensis. Current Zoology 60 (4) , pp. 551-559.

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Abstract

Recursion by herbivores is the repeated use of the same site or plants. Recursion by wild animals is rarely investigated but may be ubiquitous. Optimal foraging theory predicts site recursion as a function of the quality of the site, extent of its last use, and time since its last use because these influence site resource status and recovery. We used GPS collars, behaviour and site sampling to investigate recursion to foraging sites for two elephant Elephas maximus borneensis herds in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, Borneo, over a 12 month period. Recursion occurred to 48 out of 87 foraging sites and was most common within 48 hours or between 151–250 days, indicating two different types of recursion. Recursion was more likely to occur if the site had previously been occupied for longer. Moreover, the time spent at a site at recursion was the same as the time spent at the site on the first occasion. The number of days that had passed between the first visit and recursion was also positively correlated with how much time was spent at the site at recursion. Habitat type also influenced the intensity of site-use, with more time spent at recursion within riverine/open grass areas along forest margins compared to other habitat types. Recursion is a common behaviour used by the elephants and its pattern suggests it may be a foraging strategy for revisiting areas of greater value. The qualities of recursion sites might usefully be incorporated into landscape management strategies for elephant conservation in the area

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Publisher: Current Zoology
ISSN: 1674-5507
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 19 February 2019
Date of Acceptance: 24 June 2014
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2019 16:02
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/63211

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