New publication: The unique spatial ecology of human hunters

By Atle Mysterud, Inger M. Rivrud, Vegard Gundersen, Christer M. Rolandsen, and Hildegunn Viljugrein in Nature Human Behaviour   

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Human hunters are described as ‘superpredators’ with a unique ecology. Chronic wasting disease among cervids and African swine fever among wild boar are emerging wildlife diseases in Europe, with huge economic and cultural repercussions. Understanding hunter movements at broad scales has implications for how to control the spread of these diseases. Here we show, based on analysis of the settlement patterns and movements of hunters of reindeer (n = 9,685), red deer (n = 47,845), moose (n = 60,365) and roe deer (n = 42,530) from across Norway (2001–2017), that hunter density was more closely linked to human density than prey density and that hunters were largely migratory, aggregated with increasing regional prey densities and often used dogs. Hunter movements extended across Europe and to other continents. Our results provide extensive evidence that the broad-scale movements and residency patterns of postindustrial hunters relative to their prey differ from those of large carnivores.

Nature Human Behaviour
Volume 4, pages 694–701(2020)
Published: 16 March 2020
DOI: s41562-020-0836-7
Publication webpage.   

Atle Mysterud*, Inger M. Rivrud§1, Vegard Gundersen§2, Christer M. Rolandsen§3, and Hildegunn Viljugrein#

* Department of Biosciences, Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
§1 Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Oslo, Norway
§2 Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Lillehammer, Norway
§3 Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Trondheim, Norway
# Norwegian Veterinary Institute, Oslo, Norway

Tags: Nature Human Behaviour;
Published Aug. 26, 2020 11:41 AM - Last modified Mar. 5, 2021 9:35 AM