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Behavioral correlations across multiple stages of the antipredator response: do animals that escape more readily also hide longer?
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  • Chelsea Ortiz-Jimenez,
  • Marcus Michelangeli,
  • Erika Pendleton,
  • Andrew Sih,
  • Jennifer Smith
Chelsea Ortiz-Jimenez
University of California Davis

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Marcus Michelangeli
Monash University
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Erika Pendleton
Mills College
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Andrew Sih
University of California
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Jennifer Smith
Mills College
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While numerous studies have examined either initial prey responses to an approaching predator (flight initiation distance, FID), or subsequent hiding behavior (e.g. latency to resume activity), to our knowledge, no previous studies have repeatedly tested multiple individuals in nature, to quantify whether both FIDs and latencies to resume activity are repeatable, and whether these two stages of the antipredator response are positively correlated. This correlation is ecologically important in that opportunity costs of predator avoidance are particularly large if the same individuals tend to both escape more readily and hide longer. Here, we examined California ground squirrels’ (Otospermophilus beecheyi) responses to human approach, and provided the first example showing that, as predicted: FIDs, latencies to resume activity, and other aspects of prey responses post-FID were repeatable and positively correlated. Interestingly, we also found that across a gradient of human activity, squirrels in areas with higher human activity were generally bolder.