Additive opportunistic capture explains group hunting benefits in African wild dogs

Hubel, T Y and Myatt, J P and Jordan, N R and Dewhirst, O P and Weldon McNutt, J and Wilson, A M (2016) Additive opportunistic capture explains group hunting benefits in African wild dogs. Nature Communications, 7. p. 11033.

[img]
Preview
Text
11603.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract

African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) are described as highly collaborative endurance pursuit hunters based on observations derived primarily from the grass plains of East Africa. However, the remaining population of this endangered species mainly occupies mixed woodland savannah where hunting strategies appear to differ from those previously described. We used high-resolution GPS and inertial technology to record fine-scale movement of all members of a single pack of six adult African wild dogs in northern Botswana. The dogs used multiple short-distance hunting attempts with a low individual kill rate (15.5%), but high group feeding rate due to the sharing of prey. Use of high-level cooperative chase strategies (coordination and collaboration) was not recorded. In the mixed woodland habitats typical of their current range, simultaneous, opportunistic, short-distance chasing by dogs pursuing multiple prey (rather than long collaborative pursuits of single prey by multiple individuals) could be the key to their relative success in these habitats.