Response of the Steppe Polecat (Mustela eversmanni) to the Odors of Prey and Predator
- Received Date: 2005-12-05
- Rev Recd Date: 1900-01-01
- Publish Date: 2006-06-22
Abstract: The food intake, duration of stay and frequency of visitation of the steppe polecat (Mustela eversmanni) staying in places with different species' odors were investigated through the two-choice test in the laboratory, and the effects of different species' odors on the feeding behaviors of the polecats were determined. The results showed that the food intake, duration of stay and frequency of visitation of the polecat were the same when there were no odors in either of the two patches. The odors of two prey species, the zokor (Myospalax baileyi) and the pika (Ochotona curzoniae) had no significant influence on the polecat behaviour compared with the controls. The variables were all much higher in the control site than in the site of the red fox's odor, The polecat significantly increased total food intake, decreased the living time in nest boxes and spent more time in the control place when the odor of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) existed in the other patch, as indirect predation risk existed. The polecat had the ability to decrease the predation risk through the strategy of increasing the food intake and decreasing the time of staying in the high predation risk patch.
|Citation:||YANG Sheng-mei , *, WEI Wan-hong, YIN Bao-fa, FAN Nai-chang, ZHOU Wen-yang. Response of the Steppe Polecat (Mustela eversmanni) to the Odors of Prey and Predator. Zoological Research, 2006, 27(3): 269-274.|