Experimental evidence for innate predator recognition in the Seychelles warbler

Veen, T., Richardson, D. S. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7226-9074, Blaakmeer, K. and Komdeur, J. (2000) Experimental evidence for innate predator recognition in the Seychelles warbler. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 267 (1459). pp. 2253-2258. ISSN 0962-8452

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)


Nest predation is a major determinant of fitness in birds and costly nest defence behaviours have evolved in order to reduce nest predation. Some avian studies have suggested that predator recognition is innate whereas others have stressed the importance of learning. However, none of these studies controlled for the genetic origin of the populations investigated and the effect of unfamiliarity with the predator. Here we determined whether experience with a nest predator is a prerequisite for nest defence by comparing predator recognition responses between two isolated but genetically similar Seychelles warbler (Acrocephalus sechellensis) populations, only one of which had experience of the egg predating Seychelles fody (Foudia sechellarum). Individuals in the predator-free population significantly reduced nest guarding compared to individuals in the population with the predator, which indicates that this behaviour was adjusted to the presence of nest predators. However, recognition responses (measured as both alarm call and attack rates) towards a mounted model of the fody were equally strong in both populations and significantly higher than the responses towards either a mounted familiar non-predator and a mounted, novel, non-predator bird species. Responses did not differ with a warbler's age and experience with the egg predator, indicating that predator recognition is innate.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: egg predation,nest defence behaviour,predator recognition,seychelles warbler,immunology and microbiology(all),biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology(all),environmental science(all),agricultural and biological sciences(all) ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2400
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Organisms and the Environment
Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2024 13:31
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2024 08:10
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/94817
DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2000.1276

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item