Graeme Shannon

Graeme Shannon
Bangor University · School of Biological Sciences

PhD

About

59
Publications
43,949
Reads
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2,497
Citations
Introduction
My research focusses primarily on the behavioural ecology and conservation of social mammals.
Additional affiliations
July 2012 - December 2014
Colorado State University
Position
  • Investigating the effects of anthropogenic noise on wildlife behaviour and ecology
March 2009 - March 2012
University of Sussex
Position
  • Exploring cognitive abilities of wild elephants
November 2002 - December 2008
University of KwaZulu-Natal
Position
  • Behavioural ecology of the African elephant
Education
November 2002 - December 2005
University of KwaZulu-Natal
Field of study
  • Behavioural Ecology

Publications

Publications (59)
Article
Full-text available
Vigilance is a costly behaviour but it enables animals to detect and avoid threats of predation and intraspecific competition. To compensate for the increased risk while sleeping, many bird species have evolved eye‐blinking strategies called peeking, which allows vigilance to persist in a sleep‐like state. However, the drivers of vigilance behaviou...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is a common morphological trait in ungulates, with polygyny considered the leading driver of larger male body mass and weapon size. However, not all polygynous species exhibit SSD, while molecular evidence has revealed a more complex relationship between paternity and mating system than originally predicted. SSD is, the...
Article
Full-text available
The transmission of reliable information between individuals is crucial for group-living animals. This is particularly the case for cognitively advanced mammals with overlapping generations that acquire detailed social and ecological knowledge over long lifetimes. Here, we directly compare the ecological knowledge of elephants from two populations,...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Over recent decades, the abundance and geographic ranges of wild ungulate species have expanded in many parts of Europe, including the UK. Populations are managed to mitigate their ecological impacts using interventions, such as shooting, fencing and administering contraception. Predicting how target species will respond to intervent...
Article
Full-text available
What is the relationship between language and animal communication? This has largely been discussed within research on language evolution and disciplines beyond linguistics, but impacts upon the study of language generally. There are two extant views on the nature of this relationship: either there is a stark divide, with language considered as com...
Article
Increasing anthropogenic noise is having a global impact on wildlife, particularly due to the masking of crucial acoustical communication. However, there have been few studies examining the impacts of noise exposure on communication in free-ranging terrestrial mammals. We studied alarm calls of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) acros...
Article
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The article Alarm call modification by prairie dogs in the presence of juveniles
Article
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The surge in research interest focusing on the effects of anthro-pogenic noise on wildlife over the past two decades has greatly increased awareness of the pervasive nature of this global pollutant across aquatic and terrestrial habitats (Barber et al. 2010; Shannon et al. 2016). Harding et al. (2019) now provide a timely review on this research to...
Article
Full-text available
While several drivers of wildlife alarm calls have been identified, recent work on the impact of the audience on the plasticity of alarm calling indicates that intraspecific communication can drive this behavior. We build on this literature by assessing changes in call characteristics in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) in the prese...
Chapter
Full-text available
The goal of this book is to empower operators, regulators, and tourists to find the critical balance between possibly damaging consequences of wildlife tourism and the potential benefits to the local human communities, ecosystems, and the wildlife themselves. It is essential to realize that ecotourism is frequently more environmentally friendly tha...
Chapter
Full-text available
Ecotourism is often considered highly compatible with conservation efforts because it generates revenue through the nonconsumptive use of wildlife (in contrast to, e.g., fishing and hunting), while helping to foster a conservation ethic among participants. However, it is becoming clear that human presence in natural areas is not without cost. Evide...
Article
Full-text available
The PREDICTS project—Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems (www.predicts.org.uk)—has collated from published studies a large, reasonably representative database of comparable samples of biodiversity from multiple sites that differ in the nature or intensity of human impacts relating to land use. We have used t...
Data
The PREDICTS project—Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems (www.predicts.org.uk)—has collated from published studies a large, reasonably representative database of comparable samples of biodiversity from multiple sites that differ in the nature or intensity of human impacts relating to land use. We have used t...
Article
Full-text available
ABSTRACT: Diverse biological consequences of noise exposure are documented by an extensive literature. Unfortunately, the aggregate value of this literature is compromised by inconsistencies in noise measurements and incomplete descriptions of metrics. These studies commonly report the noise level (in decibels, dB) at which a response was measured....
Article
Global increases in environmental noise levels – arising from expansion of human populations, transportation networks, and resource extraction – have catalysed a recent surge of research into the effects of noise on wildlife. Synthesising a coherent understanding of the biological consequences of noise from this literature is challenging. Taxonomic...
Article
Global increases in environmental noise levels arising from expansion ofhuman populations, transportation networks, and resource extraction have catalysed a recent surge of research into the effects of noise on wildlife. Synthesising a coherent understanding of the biological consequences of noise from this literature is challenging. Taxonomic grou...
Article
Full-text available
Increasing scientific evidence shows that anthropogenic noise can impact behavioral, demographic, and community-level processes across a range of taxa—presenting a serious conservation challenge. Given the direct link between antipredator behavior and fitness, it is important to explore the impacts of noise on vigilance and flight. To do this, we c...
Article
Full-text available
Human activities have caused a near-ubiquitous and evolutionarily-unprecedented increase in environmental sound levels and artificial night lighting. These stimuli reorganize communities by interfering with species- specific perception of time-cues, habitat features, and auditory and visual signals. Rapid evolutionary changes could occur in respons...
Article
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Rapid human population growth and habitat modification in the western United States has led to the formation of urban and exurban rangelands. Many of these rangelands are also home to populations of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). Our study aimed to compare the vegetation composition of an urban and exurban rangeland, and explore...
Article
Full-text available
The PREDICTS project—Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems (www.predicts.org.uk)—has collated from published studies a large, reasonably representative database of comparable samples of biodiversity from multiple sites that differ in the nature or intensity of human impacts relating to land use. We have used t...
Article
Full-text available
Motion-activated cameras are a versatile tool that wildlife biologists can use for sampling wild animal populations to estimate species occurrence. Occupancy modelling provides a flexible framework for the analysis of these data; explicitly recognizing that given a species occupies an area the probability of detecting it is often less than one. Des...
Article
Prey species have to balance their foraging and vigilance behaviour in order to maximize nutritional and energetic intake while avoiding predation. Anthropogenic noise, a ubiquitous form of human disturbance, has the potential to influence antipredator behaviour through its effects on predator detection and perceived risk. Noise might increase perc...
Article
Full-text available
Human activities in protected areas can affect wildlife populations in a similar manner to predation risk, causing increases in movement and vigilance, shifts in habitat use and changes in group size. Nevertheless, recent evidence indicates that in certain situations ungulate species may actually utilize areas associated with higher levels of human...
Article
Full-text available
Animals can accrue direct fitness benefits by accurately classifying predatory threat according to the species of predator and the magnitude of risk associated with an encounter. Human predators present a particularly interesting cognitive challenge, as it is typically the case that different human subgroups pose radically different levels of dange...
Article
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Multi-level fission-fusion societies, characteristic of a number of large brained mammal species including some primates, cetaceans and elephants, are among the most complex and cognitively demanding animal social systems. Many free-ranging populations of these highly social mammals already face severe human disturbance, which is set to accelerate...
Article
The vegetation dynamics of the savanna ecosystem are driven by complex interactions between biotic and abiotic factors, and thus are expected to exhibit emergent properties of biocomplexity. We explore the relative importance of static and dynamic drivers in explaining the patterns of mortality of large trees in the Kruger National Park, South Afri...
Article
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Elephant and fire are considered to be among the most important agents that can modify the African savanna ecosystem. Although the synergistic relationship between these two key ecological drivers is well documented, it has proved much more difficult to establish the relative effects they have on savanna vegetation structure at a fine-scale over ti...
Article
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In this paper we analyse the daytime movements of African elephants (Loxodonta africana) in different habitats in the Pongola Game Reserve, South Africa. On average adult males moved faster than females in all habitat types except when grouped together (then females moved at the faster male pace). Elephants demonstrated distinct movement patterns i...
Article
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The value of age is well recognized in human societies, where older individuals often emerge as leaders in tasks requiring specialized knowledge, but what part do such individuals play in other social species? Despite growing interest in how effective leadership might be achieved in animal social systems, the specific role that older leaders may pl...
Article
The allometric relationships of body size play a principle role in determining how large herbivores respond to the marked spatial and temporal heterogeneity of the savanna biome. Using location data collected over an 8-year period from five distinct study sites, we investigated the influence of environmental variation (using phenological and rainfa...
Article
Aim Artificial water points are often used in protected savanna ecosystems to maintain populations of large herbivores. However, these interventions lead to increased ranging and foraging pressure and can negatively impact important habitats and species. This study investigated the influence of artificial water provision on the foraging and movemen...
Article
Full-text available
Acquiring greater understanding of the factors causing changes in vegetation structure - particularly with the potential to cause regime shifts - is important in adaptively managed conservation areas. Large trees (≥5 m in height) play an important ecosystem function, and are associated with a stable ecological state in the African savanna. There is...
Article
Elephant are believed to be one of the main ecological drivers in the conversion of savanna woodlands to grassland. We assessed the impacts of elephant on large trees (≥5 m in height) in the southern section of the Kruger National Park. Tree dimensions and utilization by elephant were recorded for 3082 individual trees across 22 transects (average...
Article
Full-text available
Elephant are believed to be one of the main ecological drivers in the conversion of savanna woodlands to grassland. We assessed the impacts of elephant on large trees (≥5 m in height) in the southern section of the Kruger National Park. Tree dimensions and utilization by elephant were recorded for 3082 individual trees across 22 transects (average...
Article
Full-text available
The activity budget hypothesis is 1 of 4 main hypotheses proposed to explain sexual segregation by large herbivores. Because of their smaller body size, females are predicted to have higher mass-specific energy requirements and lower digestive efficiency than males. As a result, females are expected to forage longer to satisfy their nutritional dem...
Article
Full-text available
We examined daytime movements of a herd of African elephants (Loxodonta africana) at 10-min, 15-min, and 20-min intervals in Pongola Game Reserve, South Africa. This group tended to proceed in a consistent direction during consecutive movements, especially during long moves. Serial movement lengths and serial movement angles were autocorrelated at...
Article
Full-text available
Elephants (Loxodonta africana) exhibit pronounced sexual dimorphism, and in this study we test the prediction that the differences in body size and sociality are significant enough to drive divergent foraging strategies and ultimately sexual segregation. Body size influences the foraging behaviour of herbivores through the differential scaling coef...
Article
Sexual segregation is a commonly observed phenomenon in dimorphic ungulates, which has been categorised into two distinct components: social segregation and habitat segregation. In this study we investigated whether elephants were sexually segregated at the habitat scale. The locations of 12 family groups and 16 males, in three distinct populations...
Article
Full-text available
The ranging behaviour and habitat occupancy by three elephant groups (cow herd, bulls, and an orphan group) were studied over a two-year period in a small, fenced reserve. No summer dispersal was observed. Distinct seasonal home ranges were exhibited for all groups, with the summer (wet season) ranges being smaller than the winter (dry season) rang...
Article
Full-text available
The ranging behaviour and habitat occupancy by three elephant groups (cow herd, bulls, and an orphan group) were studied over a two-year period in a small, fenced reserve. No summer dispersal was observed. Distinct seasonal home ranges were exhibited for all groups, with the summer (wet season) ranges being smaller than the winter (dry season) rang...

Projects

Projects (4)
Project
Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis) is the causative agent in bovine tuberculosis, a global disease that poses a risk to cattle, humans, and wildlife. In Europe, Eurasian badgers (Meles meles), fallow deer (Dama dama), and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) have been identified as important maintenance or spillover hosts of M. bovis. Interactions between these species in the wild may be contributing to the spread of disease, but the degree of contact between them is poorly understood. We're seeking to use camera traps to assess the degree of spatiotemporal overlap between these species and construct a model of disease transmission to predict the risk of M. bovis outbreak in a wildlife community.
Project
(1) Estimate the distribution of suitable roe deer habitat across Wales and (2) predict the pattern of range expansion, using a combination of correlative and mechanistic modelling techniques.
Project
This project aims to determine the movement behaviour, habitat utilisation and range expansion of large herbivore populations across the UK using the latest GPS tracking technology, motion activated cameras, vegetation impact surveys and predictive modelling. Focal species include roe deer, fallow deer and feral boar.