Linking Behavior to Vital Rates to Measure the Effects of Non-Lethal Disturbance on Wildlife

Fredrik Christiansen, David Lusseau

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

34 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The need for managing non-lethal effects on wildlife is becoming increasingly important as global human–wildlife interactions are now more frequent and more diverse. We developed a mechanistic model for minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) to measure the effects of behavioral disturbances caused by whalewatching activities on fetal growth. The model illustrates the pathway through which behaviorally mediated effects of anthropogenic disturbance might influence female reproductive success in an iteroparous capital breeding mammal. We found that although the behavioral disruptions caused by whalewatching interactions were substantial, the cumulative exposure of individuals to whalewatching boats was low, resulting in an effect on fetal growth no different from natural variability. This highlights the importance of considering all aspects of disturbance when evaluating effects of human disturbance on wildlife. Our mechanistic model can also be used to simulate different management scenarios to predict the long-term consequence of disturbance on vital rates, to help inform management decisions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)424-431
Number of pages8
JournalConservation Letters
Volume8
Issue number6
Early online date27 Mar 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015

Fingerprint

mechanistic models
fetal development
wildlife
cumulative exposure
disturbance
boats
whales
anthropogenic activities
mammals
breeding
whale
reproductive success
mammal
effect
rate
Balaenoptera

Keywords

  • anthropogenic disturbance
  • bioenergetics
  • cetacean
  • exposure
  • minke whale
  • non-consumptive effects
  • population consequences of disturbance
  • whalewatching

Cite this

Linking Behavior to Vital Rates to Measure the Effects of Non-Lethal Disturbance on Wildlife. / Christiansen, Fredrik; Lusseau, David.

In: Conservation Letters, Vol. 8, No. 6, 11.2015, p. 424-431.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

@article{2fbd9ff0709f4fef95dcaa8a1ded77e2,
title = "Linking Behavior to Vital Rates to Measure the Effects of Non-Lethal Disturbance on Wildlife",
abstract = "The need for managing non-lethal effects on wildlife is becoming increasingly important as global human–wildlife interactions are now more frequent and more diverse. We developed a mechanistic model for minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) to measure the effects of behavioral disturbances caused by whalewatching activities on fetal growth. The model illustrates the pathway through which behaviorally mediated effects of anthropogenic disturbance might influence female reproductive success in an iteroparous capital breeding mammal. We found that although the behavioral disruptions caused by whalewatching interactions were substantial, the cumulative exposure of individuals to whalewatching boats was low, resulting in an effect on fetal growth no different from natural variability. This highlights the importance of considering all aspects of disturbance when evaluating effects of human disturbance on wildlife. Our mechanistic model can also be used to simulate different management scenarios to predict the long-term consequence of disturbance on vital rates, to help inform management decisions.",
keywords = "anthropogenic disturbance , bioenergetics, cetacean, exposure, minke whale, non-consumptive effects, population consequences of disturbance, whalewatching",
author = "Fredrik Christiansen and David Lusseau",
note = "Acknowledgments Funding was received from the University of Aberdeen,Graduate School Competitive Studentship grant scheme and the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland pooling initiative. We are grateful for the constructive comments provided by Dr Amanda Lombard and two anonymous reviewers",
year = "2015",
month = "11",
doi = "10.1111/conl.12166",
language = "English",
volume = "8",
pages = "424--431",
journal = "Conservation Letters",
issn = "1755-263X",
publisher = "John Wiley & Sons Inc.",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Linking Behavior to Vital Rates to Measure the Effects of Non-Lethal Disturbance on Wildlife

AU - Christiansen, Fredrik

AU - Lusseau, David

N1 - Acknowledgments Funding was received from the University of Aberdeen,Graduate School Competitive Studentship grant scheme and the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland pooling initiative. We are grateful for the constructive comments provided by Dr Amanda Lombard and two anonymous reviewers

PY - 2015/11

Y1 - 2015/11

N2 - The need for managing non-lethal effects on wildlife is becoming increasingly important as global human–wildlife interactions are now more frequent and more diverse. We developed a mechanistic model for minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) to measure the effects of behavioral disturbances caused by whalewatching activities on fetal growth. The model illustrates the pathway through which behaviorally mediated effects of anthropogenic disturbance might influence female reproductive success in an iteroparous capital breeding mammal. We found that although the behavioral disruptions caused by whalewatching interactions were substantial, the cumulative exposure of individuals to whalewatching boats was low, resulting in an effect on fetal growth no different from natural variability. This highlights the importance of considering all aspects of disturbance when evaluating effects of human disturbance on wildlife. Our mechanistic model can also be used to simulate different management scenarios to predict the long-term consequence of disturbance on vital rates, to help inform management decisions.

AB - The need for managing non-lethal effects on wildlife is becoming increasingly important as global human–wildlife interactions are now more frequent and more diverse. We developed a mechanistic model for minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) to measure the effects of behavioral disturbances caused by whalewatching activities on fetal growth. The model illustrates the pathway through which behaviorally mediated effects of anthropogenic disturbance might influence female reproductive success in an iteroparous capital breeding mammal. We found that although the behavioral disruptions caused by whalewatching interactions were substantial, the cumulative exposure of individuals to whalewatching boats was low, resulting in an effect on fetal growth no different from natural variability. This highlights the importance of considering all aspects of disturbance when evaluating effects of human disturbance on wildlife. Our mechanistic model can also be used to simulate different management scenarios to predict the long-term consequence of disturbance on vital rates, to help inform management decisions.

KW - anthropogenic disturbance

KW - bioenergetics

KW - cetacean

KW - exposure

KW - minke whale

KW - non-consumptive effects

KW - population consequences of disturbance

KW - whalewatching

U2 - 10.1111/conl.12166

DO - 10.1111/conl.12166

M3 - Letter

VL - 8

SP - 424

EP - 431

JO - Conservation Letters

JF - Conservation Letters

SN - 1755-263X

IS - 6

ER -