Project properties

Title Foraging strategies in a social herbivore (the fallow deer, Dama dama).
Field work at the landgoed Oranje Nassaus Oord in Renkum.
Group Behavioural Ecology
Project type thesis
Credits 12-36
Supervisor(s) S�verine Denise Kotrschal
Alexander Kotrschal
Examiner(s) Marc Naguib
Contact info
Begin date 2020/10/19
End date 2023/04/01
Description For social foragers, movement as a group could increase foraging efficiency through collective discovery of high-quality food sources. This would require an efficient mechanism for transferring information about food quality between individuals. Alternatively, the constraints of foraging as a cohesive group could decrease efficiency and grouping thus may persist to serve other functions such as protection from predators. In this project we aim to unravel whether deer rely on group information rather than on social information when foraging. We therefore will expose a herd of 35 captive fallow deer (kept at the landgoed Oranje Nassaus Oord between Wageninen and Renkum) to food patches of different shapes and different within-patch pattern of foodquality and compare diet selectivity at the group level between patch treatments. Such results help us understand the economics of animal movement and foraging.
Used skills