Medium carnivores more vulnerable to environmental changes –

Medium carnivores more vulnerable to environmental changes


Dec. 4 (UPI) – Because medium-sized carnivores spend most of their time searching for food, they are more likely to be affected by environmental changes, new research shows.

Until now, scientists thought that feeding time decreased with body size: the larger the animal, the less time the animal spends feeding. But new research by scientists at Imperial College London suggests that medium-sized species – including the Malay civet, the Iriomote cat, the leopard cat and the crab-eating fox – spend more time looking for food than their peers, both older and younger. little ones. [19659002] As such, medium carnivores are at greater risk of environmental changes that affect the distribution and abundance of their prey.

The new research, published this week in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution, could help conservationists identify species that warrant additional protections.

"We propose a simple mathematical model that predicts how feeding time depends on the size of the body," ICL researcher Samraat Pawar said in a press release. "This can help predict potential risks for predators facing environmental changes."

The scientists confirmed the accuracy of their mathematical model using GPS and radius collar tracking data from surveys with 73 terrestrial carnivorous species.

"Changes in habitat may mean that predators have to move more to find the same amount of food, which causes them more stress," Pawar said. "This has an impact on the health of the individual and, therefore, on the health of the population."

To make good use of the new research, scientists must also have an accurate understanding of the diets of medium carnivores. Medium-sized species with highly specific diets would probably be more at risk from environmental changes.

"If they are able to adapt their diet and diversify their prey, they may be better off," said masters student Matteo Rizzuto. [19659002LosinvestigadoressugierenqueloscarnívorosdetamañomedianotienenquepasarmástiempoalimentándoseporquetiendenaalimentarsedepresasquesonsignificativamentemáspequeñasqueellasLosdepredadoresgrandescomoleonesytigrestiendenaalimentarsedeespeciesmuchomásgrandes

"The dams that are much smaller than a predator are hard to find and capture, and therefore not easily meet the energy needs of the predator and provide the money," said Chris Carbone, a scientist the Zoological Society of London.

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