Journal of Ethology

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 79–82

Common ravens raid arctic fox food caches

  • Vincent Careau
  • Nicolas Lecomte
  • Jean-François Giroux
  • Dominique Berteaux
Short Communication

Abstract

Cache recovery is critical for evolution of hoarding behaviour, because the energy invested in caching may be lost if consumers other than the hoarders benefit from the cached food. By raiding food caches, animals may exploit the caching habits of others, that should respond by actively defending their caches. The arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) is the main predator of lemmings and goose eggs in the Canadian High Arctic and stores much of its prey in the ground. Common ravens (Corvus corax) are not as successful as foxes in taking eggs from goose nests. This generalist avian predator regularly uses innovation and opportunism to survive in many environments. Here, we provide the first report that ravens can successfully raid food cached by foxes, and that foxes may defend their caches from ravens.

Keywords

Alopex lagopus Corvus corax Food caching Cache raiding Defence of food caches Foraging innovation Bylot Island 

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Copyright information

© Japan Ethological Society and Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vincent Careau
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nicolas Lecomte
    • 3
  • Jean-François Giroux
    • 1
  • Dominique Berteaux
    • 2
  1. 1.Département des sciences biologiques and Groupe de recherche en écologie comportementale et animaleUniversité du Québec à MontréalMontréalCanada
  2. 2.Chaire de recherche du Canada en conservation des écosystèmes nordiques and Centre d’études nordiquesUniversité du Québec à RimouskiRimouskiCanada
  3. 3.Département de biologie and Centre d’Études NordiquesUniversité LavalQuébecCanada

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