Oded Berger-Tal

Oded Berger-Tal
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev | bgu · Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research

About

74
Publications
33,990
Reads
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2,029
Citations
Citations since 2017
43 Research Items
1596 Citations
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Additional affiliations
November 2013 - present
University of California, Los Angeles
Position
  • PostDoc Position
October 2008 - November 2013
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (74)
Preprint
Full-text available
Although oil spills are a major source of global pollution, little is known about the effects of oil spills on animals in terrestrial ecosystems. We investigated two oil spills that occurred in 1975 and 2014 in a nature reserve within a hyper-arid desert, aiming at determining the long- and short-term effects of oil spills on the habitat selection...
Article
Full-text available
The quest for cleaner energy has caused governments to expand renewable energy infrastructure, including wind turbine farms. However, wind turbines (WTs) can also pose a risk to certain wildlife species, with wildlife-related research predominantly focusing on the potential harm caused to birds and bats from impact injuries. New evidence suggests t...
Article
Full-text available
Large-carnivore populations have experienced significant declines in the past centuries in extended parts of the world. Habitat loss, fragmentation, and depletion of natural resources are some of the main causes of this decline. Consequently, behavioral flexibility, enabling the exploitation of anthropogenic food resources in highly disturbed human...
Article
Global urbanization processes have highlighted the importance of understanding the effects of urban habitats on animal behavior. Behavioral changes are usually evaluated along an urbanization gradient, comparing urban and rural populations. However, this metric fails to consider heterogeneity between urban habitats that can differ significantly in...
Article
Full-text available
Adaptive cognitive biases, such as “optimism,” may have evolved as heuristic rules for computationally efficient decision-making, or as error-management tools when error payoff is asymmetrical. Ecologists typically use the term “optimism” to describe unrealistically positive expectations from the future that are driven by positively biased initial...
Article
Reintroducing species to their historic range or reinforcing extant but endangered populations with individuals from elsewhere are popular conservation efforts to maintain long-term viable populations of animals. These efforts, known as conservation translocations, require proper monitoring of the fate of the animals that are released to assess the...
Article
Full-text available
The increasing pressure of ecotourism on wildlife in their natural habitats leads many wild animals to alter their behaviors. The restrictions issued in many places due to COVID-19 provide a rare opportunity to examine wildlife behavior in nature reserves with reduced human presence, and to reveal the impact of human visitation on the behaviors and...
Article
Full-text available
Translocated animals typically find themselves in a novel environment in which they must establish a home range in a manner that will maximize their fitness. We hypothesized that the initial establishment of a home range is followed by adjustments expressed as home range shifting, and occurs as familiarity with the landscape increases, until the ho...
Article
Full-text available
The COST Action ‘European Raptor Biomonitoring Facility’ (ERBFacility) aims to develop pan-European raptor biomonitoring in support of better chemicals management in Europe, using raptors as sentinel species. This presents a significant challenge involving a range of constraints that must be identified and addressed. The aims of this study were to:...
Article
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The global lockdown to mitigate COVID-19 pandemic health risks has altered human interactions with nature. Here, we report immediate impacts of changes in human activities on wildlife and environmental threats during the early lockdown months of 2020, based on 877 qualitative reports and 332 quantitative assessments from 89 different studies. Hundr...
Article
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While most animal behavior researchers have mastered the process of knowledge creation, generating knowledge that can readily be applied requires a different set of skills. The process and timeframe of fundamental scientific knowledge production is often not relevant to those who might apply it, such as conservation or wildlife managers. Additional...
Article
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1. Long-distance migrations are among the most physically demanding feats animals perform. Understanding the potential costs and benefits of such behaviour is a fundamental question in ecology and evolution. A hypothetical cost of migration should be outweighed by higher productivity and/or higher annual survival, but few studies on migratory speci...
Article
Full-text available
Restricted human activity during the COVID-19 pandemic raised global attention to the presence of wildlife in cities. Here, we analyzed iNaturalist observations of prominent wildlife species around North-American urban centers, before and during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. We suggest that the popular notion of ‘wildlife reclaiming cities’ may h...
Article
Full-text available
Conservation translocations are a widespread tool commonly used to prevent the extinction of species locally and globally. However, conservation transloca-tions are complicated operations which often fail, especially when they involve the release of captive-bred animals. In order to survive, translocated animals need to adapt to a new environment;...
Article
Full-text available
Integrating knowledge and principles of animal behavior into wildlife conservation and management has led to some concrete successes but has failed to improve conservation outcomes in other cases. Many conservation interventions involve attempts to either attract or repel animals, which we refer to as approach/avoidance issues. These attempts can b...
Article
Full-text available
Humans profoundly impact landscapes, ecosystems, and animal behavior. In many cases, animals living near humans become tolerant of them and reduce antipredator responses. Yet, we still lack an understanding of the underlying evolutionary dynamics behind these shifts in traits that affect animal survival. Here, we used a phylogenetic meta-analysis t...
Article
Full-text available
Animals raised in captivity go through drastically different life experiences compared with those raised in the wild. The captive environment is usually characterised by highly stable conditions and limited social interactions. Such early developmental environment, alone and interacting with genes, can have long-lasting effects on cognitive perform...
Article
Baumard's perspective asserts that “opportunity is the mother of innovation,” in contrast to the adage ascribing this role to necessity. Drawing on behavioral ecology and cognition, we propose that both extremes – affluence and scarcity – can drive innovation. We suggest that the types of innovations at these two extremes differ and that both rely...
Article
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Antlions (Neuroptera) are a group of sit-and-wait predator insects, with some species further specializing in digging conical pit-traps in the ground in order to catch prey. Studies on antlions’ predators are scarce with only few generalist predators known to feed on them. Here we report for the first time on field observations of antlions’ predati...
Article
Full-text available
We are surrounded by a complex arrangement of sounds creating acoustic patterns in space and time which constitute the sound-scapes that humans and animals experience (Pijanowski et al. 2011). Soundscapes all around the globe are increasingly affected by an-thropogenic sounds. The impacts of this anthropogenic noise pollution are not only shaped by...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenically induced fragmentation constitutes a major threat to biodiversity. Presently, conservation research and actions focus predominantly on fragmentation caused directly by physical transformation of the landscape (e.g. deforestation, agriculture, urbanization, roads, etc.). While there is no doubt that landscape features play a key rol...
Article
Full-text available
Disentangling individual-and population-level variation in migratory movements is necessary for understanding migration at the species level. However, very few studies have analyzed these patterns across large portions of species' distributions. We compiled a large telemetry dataset on the globally endangered Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus...
Article
Full-text available
Translocations are a common conservation and management strategy, but despite their popularity, translocations are a high‐cost endeavor with a history of failures. It is therefore imperative to maximize their success by learning from our collective experience. The Global Re‐introduction Perspectives Series is a collection of conservation translocat...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
שמורת הטבע עברונה זוהמה פעמיים ע"י נפט גולמי, בשנים 1975 ו-2014. בשנת 2016, רט"ג והמאר"ג החלו בתוכנית ניטור חמש שנתית של הקרקע, החי והצומח בשמורה. במסגרת ניטור פרוקי-הרגליים הקרקעיים בחלקות מזוהמות ונקיות משתי הדליפות מתמקדים בשתי קבוצות: פרוקי-רגליים צמודי קרקע (לא כולל עכבישאים), וכן פרוקי-רגליים זעירים בשכבות הקרקע העליונות (מזופאונה). זיהוי ואפ...
Article
Full-text available
Noise pollution is an intense, widespread anthropogenic disturbance that can have highly detrimental impacts on natural populations, communities, and ecosystems across the globe. One major way through which noise can affect wildlife is by masking acoustic signals that animals rely on and, in doing so, hindering inter- and intraspecific communicatio...
Article
Increased fragmentation and easier access to natural areas (e.g. ecotourism) is bringing man in closer contact to wild populations. Such encounters, even when they don't pose a direct threat to wildlife, may induce behavioral changes in animals that in the long run may have negative fitness consequences. We studied changes to the vigilance/group‐si...
Article
Full-text available
Although examples of successful applications of behavioral ecology research to policy and management exist, knowledge generated from such research is in many cases under-utilized by managers and policy makers. On their own, empirical studies and traditional reviews do not offer the robust syntheses that managers and policy makers require to make ev...
Article
Full-text available
Comment on the invasive status of the Barbary Sheep in Spain.
Article
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Systematic reviews are an increasingly popular decision-making tool that provides an unbiased summary of evidence to support conservation action. These reviews bridge the gap between researchers and managers by presenting a comprehensive overview of all studies relating to a particular topic and identify specifically where and under which condition...
Article
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National conservation conferences provide benefits not currently served by meetings at other levels
Article
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Attitudes among conservation biologists towards technological innovations and solutions have changed over the years from mistrusting and dismissive to widely accepting. However, the time has come for the conservation community to move from being technology consumers to become innovation leaders and to actively seek to create novel technologies to p...
Poster
Full-text available
Avrona monitoring Program: 'Avrona nature reserve is located in the southern 'Arava Rift Valley, Israel. The area is in a hyper-arid desert with a low annual precipitation (15-50mm), Intense solar radiation and hot summers that can reach 48 o C. It is characterized by gravel, loess and sandy soils with sparse perennial shrubs cover. In May 2016, se...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Land invertebrates, while comprising the lion's share of global biodiversity, remain grossly under studied, a lacuna which is particularly pronounced in desert habitats. The Arava Rift valley is a hyper arid area that suffers from severe anthropogenic disturbances. Avrona Nature Reserve in the Arava Valley was contaminated twice by crude oil, in 19...
Article
Full-text available
Poor communication between academic researchers and wildlife managers limits conservation progress and innovation. As a result, input from overlapping fields, such as animal behaviour, is underused in conservation management despite its demonstrated utility as a conservation tool and countless papers advocating its use. Communication and collaborat...
Chapter
Conservation behavior assists the investigation of species endangerment associated with managing animals impacted by anthropogenic activities. It employs a theoretical framework that examines the mechanisms, development, function, and phylogeny of behavior variation in order to develop practical tools for preventing biodiversity loss and extinction...
Chapter
Conservation behavior assists the investigation of species endangerment associated with managing animals impacted by anthropogenic activities. It employs a theoretical framework that examines the mechanisms, development, function, and phylogeny of behavior variation in order to develop practical tools for preventing biodiversity loss and extinction...
Chapter
Conservation behavior assists the investigation of species endangerment associated with managing animals impacted by anthropogenic activities. It employs a theoretical framework that examines the mechanisms, development, function, and phylogeny of behavior variation in order to develop practical tools for preventing biodiversity loss and extinction...
Book
Conservation behavior assists the investigation of species endangerment associated with managing animals impacted by anthropogenic activities. It employs a theoretical framework that examines the mechanisms, development, function and phylogeny of behavior variation in order to develop practical tools for preventing biodiversity loss and extinction....
Article
Full-text available
The role of behavioral ecology in improving wildlife conservation and management has been the subject of much recent debate. We aim to answer two foundational questions about the current use of behavioral knowledge in conservation: 1. To what extent is behavioral knowledge used in wildlife conservation and management? 2. How does the use of behavio...
Article
Full-text available
Recursive movement-returns to previously visited areas-is a widespread phenomenon exhibited by a large range of species from bees and birds to primates and large felines, at different spatial scales. Nevertheless, the wide scope and generality of this phenomenon remain underestimated by the scientific community. This limited appreciation for the pe...
Article
Interference competition may lead to a tragedy of the commons in which individuals driven by self-interest reduce the fitness of the entire group. We investigated this hypothesis in Allenby's gerbils, Gerbillus andersoni allenbyi, by comparing foraging behaviors of single vs. pairs of gerbils. We recorded strong interference competition within the...
Article
Full-text available
Because environments can vary over space and time in non-predictable ways, foragers must rely on estimates of resource availability and distribution to make decisions. Optimal foraging theory assumes that foraging behavior has evolved to maximize fitness and provides a conceptual framework in which environmental quality is often assumed to be fixed...
Article
Full-text available
Many conservation and management problems can benefit from mechanistic insights into how animals respond to stimuli and learn about biologically important events [1]. The growing attention toward using cognition to solve real world conservation/management issues is exciting and promising. We applaud the thoughtful review of Greggor et al. of the re...
Article
Full-text available
Despite their importance to conservation, reintroductions are still a risky endeavor and tend to fail, highlighting the need for more efficient post-release monitoring techniques. Reintroduced animals are released into unfamiliar novel environments and must explore their surroundings to gain knowledge in order to survive. According to theory, knowl...
Article
Full-text available
The trade-off between the need to obtain new knowledge and the need to use that knowledge to improve performance is one of the most basic trade-offs in nature, and optimal performance usually requires some balance between exploratory and exploitative behaviors. Researchers in many disciplines have been searching for the optimal solution to this dil...
Article
Full-text available
According to optimal foraging theory, foraging decisions are based on the forager's current estimate of the quality of its environment. However, in a novel environment, a forager does not possess information regarding the quality of the environment, and may make a decision based on a biased estimate. We show, using a simple simulation model, that w...
Data
Full-text available
Matlab code for the foraging simulation without memory. (PDF)
Data
Full-text available
Matlab code for the foraging simulation with memory. (PDF)
Data
Full-text available
A description of the different parameters used in the model. (PDF)
Article
Releasing animals in more than one location may increase or decrease the probability of success of a reintroduction project, yet the question of how many release sites to use has received little attention. We used empirical data from the reintroduction program of the Persian fallow deer (Dama mesopotamica) (Galilee region in northern Israel) in an...
Article
Full-text available
The Persian fallow deer (Dama mesopotamica) reintroduction project of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority is based on a permanent breeding core (Hai-Bar Carmel) established in Israel in 1976 from 2 males and 5 females, before the formulation of the guidelines for reinstruction by the IUCN, with no strategic long-term planning, and little consider...
Article
Full-text available
Conservation behavior is a relatively new interdisciplinary field aimed at investigating how proximate and ultimate aspects of animal behavior can be of value in preventing the loss of biodiversity. This new discipline's usefulness in promoting practical conservation-matters is subject to debate, with some scientists arguing that the importance of...
Article
Full-text available
Ambient temperature largely determines the body temperature of amphibians, and thus their hydration state and physiological performance. Microhabitat conditions chosen by terrestrial amphibians may represent a trade-off between high ambient temperatures, which maximize performance but cause high rates of water loss, and low temperatures, which, in...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Predator-prey interactions are often behaviorally sophisticated games in which the predator and prey are players, the value of prey behavior depends on the characteristics of the predator, and the value of predator behavior depends on the characteristics of the prey. Thus, changes in one player’s behavior may strongly...
Article
Full-text available
Foraging animals have several tools for managing the risk of predation, and the foraging games between them and their predators. Among these, time allocation is foremost, followed by vigilance and apprehension. Together, their use influences a forager's time allocation and giving-up density (GUD) in depletable resource patches. We examined Allenby'...
Article
Full-text available
Grey Fantails (Rhipidura albiscapa), a common Australian flycatcher, commonly desert their nests before egg-laying. We tested the hypothesis that Grey Fantails desert incomplete nests in response to the attention of predators by placing a mounted Pied Currawong (Strepera graculina), a common nest predator, near fantail nests that were under constru...
Article
Ecology Letters (2010) 13: 302–310 Predator–prey interactions are often behaviourally sophisticated games in which the predator and prey are players. Past studies teach us that hungrier prey take higher risks when foraging and that hungrier predators increase their foraging activity and are willing to take higher risks of injury. Yet no study has l...
Article
Predator-prey interactions are usually composed of behaviorally sophisticated games in which the values of the strategies of foraging prey individuals may depend on those of their predators, and vice versa. Therefore, any change in the behavior of the predator should result in changes to the behavior of the prey. However, this key prediction has ra...
Article
Full-text available
Theory states that an optimal forager should exploit a patch so long as its harvest rate of resources from the patch exceeds its energetic, predation, and missed opportunity costs for foraging. However, for many foragers, predation is not the only source of danger they face while foraging. Foragers also face the risk of injuring themselves. To test...
Article
Full-text available
Flexibility in the echolocation call structure of bats can improve their performances, because, in some situations, some signal designs are better than others. Hence, at least some bats should adjust their echolocation calls according to the setting in which they are operating but also to the specific task at hand, that is their behavioral intentio...

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Projects

Projects (5)
Project
To understand how renewable energy infrastructure might be positioned, planned (in terms of zoning), and erected in ways that would minimize its negative impacts on wildlife, and expose the research and planning gap in this context.
Project
our aim is to further our understanding of how anthropogenic disturbance impacts a highly sensitive but rarely studied ecosystem - natural water sources in arid environments.
Project
Long term monitoring of arthropodes and reptiles, including behavior and habitat choice aspects.