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Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Commentary Type

Invited Commentary

Abstract

Individual variation in behaviour adds another layer of complexity to studies of animal responses to fear and risk, but when individual responses are consistent, and correlated with other behaviours, these patterns can provide a structure that furthers our understanding. I interpret Beauchamp’s review of vigilance and fear from the perspective of my own studies of elk personality. Wild elk responses to changing stimuli (benign or aversive) illustrate how personality is a key factor in explaining variation in vigilance and fear behavior. Personality even influences how wildlife can learn to assess risk and adjust their fear responses accordingly.

Author Biography

Rob Found uses behavioural ecology of large mammals to understand human-wildlife conflict and promote co-existence. He has studied elk personality and its implications for habituation and the loss of migratory behavior. Currently he works on the management of beavers and bison at Parks Canada.

www.biology.ualberta.ca/faculty/colleen_cassady_stclair//?Page=7673