Temporal and spatial interactions between an obligate predator, the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), and a facultative scavenger, the wolverine (Gulo gulo)

Mattisson, Jenny; Persson, Jens; Andrén, Henrik; Segerström, Peter
February 2011
Canadian Journal of Zoology;Feb2011, Vol. 89 Issue 2, p79
Academic Journal
Interspecific interactions between sympatric carnivores can be important for the behaviour and demography of involved species. We studied spatial and temporal interactions between an obligate predator, the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx (L., 1758)), and a facultative scavenger, the wolverine (Gulo gulo (L., 1758)). Wolverines are known to utilize lynx-killed reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus (L., 1758)) and may benefit from being sympatric with lynx if interference competition is low. We used individual location data from 9 lynx and 17 wolverines to analyse interaction between inter- and intra-specific dyads (n = 195). We found no spatial segregation between lynx and wolverines and we observed no attraction or avoidance between individuals of the two species, independent of proportion of home-range overlap. This opposed our prediction that wolverines will show direct or delayed attraction to lynx. Wolverines may still benefit by scavenging lynx-killed reindeer while avoiding direct encounters with the lynx. Within species, we found attraction between males and females, increasing with proportion of overlap for lynx. Attraction was also found between consexual lynx, while consexual wolverines showed little home-range overlap (7%-9%) and neutral temporal interaction, indicating territoriality. Individual space use may be more influenced by conspecific interactions than by other species. Les interactions interspécifiques entre les carnivores sympatriques peuvent être d'importance pour le comportement et la démographie des espèces en présence. Nous étudions les interactions spatiales et temporelles entre un carnivore obligatoire, le lynx boréal (Lynx lynx (L., 1758)), et un charognard facultatif, le glouton (Gulo gulo (L., 1758)). On sait que les gloutons utilisent les rennes (Rangifer tarandus tarandus (L., 1758)) tués par les lynx; ils peuvent ainsi bénéficier de la coexistence avec les lynx si la compétition d'interférence est faible. Nous utilisons des données de positionnement de 9 lynx et de 17 gloutons pour analyser l'interaction entre des dyades inter- et intra-spécifiques (n = 195). Il n'existe aucune ségrégation spatiale entre les lynx et les gloutons, ni aucune attraction ni évitement entre les individus des deux espèces, quelle que soit la proportion de chevauchement entre leurs aires vitales. Ceci contredit notre prédiction que les gloutons montreraient une attraction directe ou retardée pour les lynx. Les gloutons peuvent néanmoins tirer bénéfice des rennes tués par les lynx, tout en évitant toute rencontre directe avec les lynx. Au sein des espèces, il y a une attraction entre les mâles et les femelles qui, chez les lynx, augmente en fonction du chevauchement des aires vitales. Il y a aussi une attraction entre les lynx de même sexe, alors que chez les gloutons, il y a peu de chevauchement des aires vitales (7 % - 9 %) des individus de même sexe et une interaction temporelle neutre, ce qui indique de la territorialité. L'utilisation de l'espace par les individus peut être influencée plus par les interactions conspécifiques que par les autres espèces.


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