New Research: Risk Perception in Lagomorphs at the Jornada Basin

Jornada researchers Casey Wagnon, Robert Schooley, and Bradley Cosentino recently published a new paper in Ecosphere. Their research highlights how shrub encroachment at the Jornada Basin affects risk perception of the black-tailed jackrabbit and desert cottontail.  Results from this study suggest that, overall, both desert species perceive less risk in shrubbier habitats than in grassland habitats. Interestingly, changes in perceived risk due to shrub encroachment can be further influenced by species-specific characteristics, such as prey body size, escape tactics, and activities of an ecosystem engineer. To read more about these dynamics, the paper can be accessed at:

Fig. 3. Flight initiation distance (FID) relative to patch‐scale shrub cover for (A) black‐tailed jackrabbit and (B) desert cottontail, and (C) FID relative to fine‐scale concealment for desert cottontail from Jornada Basin Long Term Ecological Research site, New Mexico, 2017–2018.