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:4/26/2016)... DUBLIN , April 27, 2016 ... of the  "Global Multi-modal Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report ... ) , The analysts forecast ... a CAGR of 15.49% during the period 2016-2020.  ... a number of sectors such as the healthcare, ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... , April 15, 2016 ... "Global Gait Biometrics Market 2016-2020,"  report to their ... ) , ,The global gait biometrics market ... 13.98% during the period 2016-2020. Gait ... which can be used to compute factors that ...
(Date:3/31/2016)...   LegacyXChange, Inc. ... LegacyXChange is excited to release its first ... be launched online site for trading 100% guaranteed authentic ... also provide potential shareholders a sense of the value ... industry that is notorious for fraud. The video is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... WEDI, the nation’s leading authority on ... that Charles W. Stellar has been named by the WEDI Board of Directors as ... As an executive leader with more than 35 years of experience in healthcare, association ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... Last week, Callan Capital, an ... and entrepreneurs, held The Future of San Diego Life Science event at the Estancia ... science community attended the event with speakers Dr. Rich Heyman, former CEO of Aragon ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Oxitec CEO Hadyn ... at 10:15 a.m. ET before the United States House Committee ... mosquitos can play in controlling the spread of the ... virus.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150630/227348 ) ... a self-limiting gene. Trials in Brazil , ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... May 20, 2016 , ... The leading Regenerative Veterinary Medicine Company, VetStem ... have treated over 100 of their own patients with the VetStem Cell Therapy. Each ... of care for their patients. , The veterinarians are Dr Ross Rich former ...
Breaking Biology Technology: