Science

Research overview 2022

It has been a bit quiet on my website, but this is not because nothing was happening. It has been a busy year with research, service, grant writing and education (more on that last point in another post). In this post, I want to give a short overview of some of the research I have been doing this year.

Publications

  • Smith B.P., Snijders L., Tobajas J., Whitehouse-Tedd K., van Bommel L., Pitcher B., St. Clair C.C., Appleby R.G., Jordan N., Greggor A.L. (in press). ‘Management techniques for deterring and repelling wildlife’ in Smith B.P., Waudby H., Alberthsen C. (eds) Ethical wildlife research in Australia. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, Australia. ISBN: 9781486313440

This book chapter provides general operating procedures (GOPs) and guidelines for a variety of non-lethal techniques, which seek to interrupt, reduce or modify the behaviour of wildlife to decrease the occurrence of ‘unwanted’ or ‘undesirable’ behaviours. 

  • Naguib M., Titulaer M., Waas J.R., van Oers K. Sprau P., Snijders L. (2022). Prior territorial responses and home range size predict territory defense in radio-tagged great tits. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 76: 35. DOI: 10.1007/s00265-022-03143-3

The extent to which responses of a resident to a territorial intrusion predict its future responses is not well understood. In this study, we used wild great tits (Parus major) as a model species and revealed that home-range and spatial response, but not vocal response, predict future responses to simulated territory intrusions. 

  • Snijders L., Krause S., Tump A.N., Breuker M, Ramnarine I.W., Kurvers R.H.J.M., Krause J. (2022). Ephemeral Resource Availability Makes Wild Guppies More Social. BioRXiv. DOI: 10.1101/2022.05.20.492799

Resource availability and sociality are tightly coupled. Sociality facilitates resource access in a wide range of animal species. Simultaneously, resource availability may change sociality. We discovered that the presence of temporarily available food patches increases the sociality of wild guppies two-fold, even when the food was no longer present.

  • Kurvers R.H.J.M, & Snijders L. (2022). Group Size: The balance of the sexes. Elife, 11, e83254. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.83254

In this brief commentary, Ralf Kurvers and I respond to a recently published study on cooperation and competition as drivers of group size variation in ostriches. We highlight the relevance of this research and suggest interesting follow-up questions for future research.

Upcoming research highlights

Principal Investigator:

  • Exploration behaviour and partial migration in noctule bats (first draft finished)
  • Effectiveness of animal conditioning in mitigating human-wildlife conflict (data extraction stage)
  • Population differences in social foraging dynamics of wild guppies (data analysis stage)

Co-author:

  • Spatiotemporal responses of wild ungulates to hunting in a fenced multi-use area (first draft finished)
  • Behavioural indicators of bird flue in waterfowl (analysis finished)
  • Ecoacoustics: a biodiversity yardstick as a facilitating tool for nature-positive food production (funded)
  • Wildlife going to town: facilitating shared landscapes for humans and wildlife (funded – start 2023)

I look forward to sharing more details about these studies once they come out!

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