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1 October 2017 Changes in circadian activity patterns of a wildlife community post high-intensity energy development
Patrick E. Lendrum, Kevin R. Crooks, George Wittemyer
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In rapidly changing environments, assessing the degree to which animals behaviorally respond to human disturbance can help identify activities of concern or populations at risk. We examined circadian activity patterns of bobcats (Lynx rufus), coyotes (Canis latrans), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), elk (Cervus canadensis), lagomorphs, and rodents during crepuscular, day, and night periods using data captured from 40 remote cameras distributed across a 162-km2 area with starkly different levels of current and historical energy development. During the winter of 2015–2016, we obtained 3,067 independent detections from 7,185 camera days of our 6 target species. In mixed support of our hypotheses, bobcats, coyotes, and mule deer were less active during the day in the developed site compared to the undeveloped site, as were rodents, which was unexpected. In contrast, elk and lagomorphs did not show differences across sites. Bobcats demonstrated the greatest reduction in diurnal activity, with nearly 3 times less activity in the developed site. Coyotes and mule deer appeared to compensate for reduced activity during the day by increasing their activity during other periods, though bobcats did not. The mammal species captured in this study demonstrated strong differences in their plasticity and sensitivity to energy development approximately 4 years post high-intensity disturbance, which likely influences their susceptibility to human-driven landscape changes.

© 2017 American Society of Mammalogists,
Patrick E. Lendrum, Kevin R. Crooks, and George Wittemyer "Changes in circadian activity patterns of a wildlife community post high-intensity energy development," Journal of Mammalogy 98(5), 1265-1271, (1 October 2017). mammal/gyx097
Received: 19 March 2017; Accepted: 21 July 2017; Published: 1 October 2017

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