Peter Mikula

Peter Mikula
The Czech Academy of Sciences | AVCR · Institute of Vertebrate Biology

Ph.D.
Macroecology, comparative ecology, behavioural ecology, urban ecology, geography of fear, conservation culturomics

About

61
Publications
22,741
Reads
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567
Citations
Introduction
Peter Mikula currently works at the Institute of Vertebrate Biology, the Czech Academy of Sciences. Member of editorial board of @EuroJEcology. •https://scholar.google.cz/citations?user=ES0YHesAAAAJ&hl=cshttps://twitter.com/birder158
Additional affiliations
October 2015 - March 2020
Charles University in Prague
Position
  • PhD Student
Education
September 2013 - September 2015
Charles University in Prague
Field of study
  • Zoology

Publications

Publications (61)
Article
Full-text available
Animals use acoustic signals for communication, implying that the properties of these signals can be under strong selection. The acoustic adaptation hypothesis predicts that species in dense habitats emit lower-frequency sounds than those in open areas because low-frequency sounds propagate further in dense vegetation than high-frequency sounds. Si...
Preprint
Full-text available
Consulting the best available evidence is key to successful conservation decision-making. While much scientific evidence on conservation continues to be published in non-English languages, a poor understanding of how non-English languages science contributes to conservation decision-making is causing global assessments and studies to practically ig...
Article
Aerial displaying is a flamboyant part of the sexual behaviour of several volant animal groups, including birds. Nevertheless, little attention has been focused on identifying correlates of large-scale diversity in this trait. In this study, we scored the presence and absence of aerial displays in males of 1732 species of passerine birds (Passerifo...
Article
Risk-taking in birds is often measured as the flight initiation distance (FID), the distance at which individuals take flight when approached by a potential predator (typically a human). The ecological factors that affect avian FID have received great attention over the past decades and meta-analyses and comparative analyses have shown that FID is...
Preprint
Full-text available
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has dramatically altered human activities, potentially relieving human pressures on urban-dwelling animals. Here, we evaluated whether birds from five cities in five countries (Czech Republic - Prague, Finland - Rovaniemi, Hungary - Budapest, Poland - Poznan, and Australia - Melbourne) changed their...
Article
Full-text available
The ongoing growth of the human population will increase the rate of wildlife-human interactions. High levels of animal tolerance and flexible responses towards human presence seem to be among the key mechanisms behind successful wildlife-human coexistence, but this behaviour remains unexplored for most populations and species of animals. Here, we...
Preprint
Full-text available
The ongoing growth of the human population will increase the rate of wildlife–human interactions. High levels of animal tolerance and flexible responses towards human presence seem to be among the key mechanisms behind successful wildlife–human coexistence, but this behaviour remains unexplored for most populations and species of animals. Here, we...
Article
Actions taken against the COVID-19 pandemic have dramatically affected many aspects of human activity, giving us a unique opportunity to study how wildlife responds to the human-induced rapid environmental changes. The wearing of face masks, widely adopted to prevent pathogen transmission, represents a novel element in many parts of the world where...
Article
Birds with plumage colour aberrations are of interest to both the general public and scientists. However, due to their rarity in nature, information on the presence of colour aberrations is rarely found in the peer‐reviewed literature. Exploration of public observations using modern information technologies such as Internet‐based search engines cou...
Preprint
Full-text available
Many animals use acoustic signals for communication, implying that the properties of these signals can be under strong selection. The acoustic adaptation hypothesis predicts that species living in dense habitats emit lower-frequency sounds than those in open areas, because low-frequency sounds generally propagate further in denser vegetation. Signa...
Article
The original online version of this article contained an error in Figure 2b. The scale in the figure published contained a second incidence of 0.3 where 0.2 should have appeared. The scale has now been corrected to accurately display a range from 0.0–0.6 at the correct 0.1 intervals.
Article
Animals living close to human settlements more often experience disturbance, but also reduced predation risk. Because an escape response is costly, behavioural adjustments of animals in terms of increased tolerance of humans occurs and is often reported in the literature. However, most such studies have been conducted in and around long-existing ci...
Article
Recently, there has been an increased effort to unravel selective factors behind female song evolution in songbirds. Female birds which produce songs may sing either solo or in duets; although the 2 vocal performances likely evolved through different selection forces and mechanisms, the majority of large-scale studies to date have focused only on d...
Cover Page
Full-text available
Cover for Amphibia-Reptilia 2019, Vol. 40, No. 3. It is related to paper "Antipredator behaviour of old-world tropical lizard, common agama Agama agama, in an urban environment".
Article
Escape behaviour is a common antipredator strategy of lizards. Here, we studied the effect of several variables predicted to have a potential effect on escape behaviour of lizards. Specifically, we measured the effects of starting distance (SD), distance to cover, sex–age and the observer’s head orientation on flight initiation distance (FID) in th...
Article
Recently, Pearse et al. explored the macroecology of passerine song using a large citizen science database of bird songs and machine learning techniques. They used standard deviation of frequency (SDF) as a surrogate for song complexity, finding only weak support for correlation between SDF and life-history traits such as monogamy and sexual dimorp...
Article
The aim of this study was to explore different components of avian diversity in two types of urban green areas, parks and cemeteries, in four European countries in relation to environmental characteristics. We studied bird species richness, functional diversity and evolutionary distinctiveness in 79 parks and 90 cemeteries located in four European...
Article
Full-text available
Life-history theory predicts that current behaviour affects future reproduction, implying that animals should optimise their escape strategies to reflect fitness costs and benefits of premature escape. Both costs and benefits of escape may change temporally with important consequences for the evolution of escape strategies. Moreover, escape strateg...
Article
Animals, including birds, have to optimize their escape strategies under the risk of predation. Level of risk-taking is often estimated as flight initiation distance (FID), which is assumed to reflect the trade-off between costs of escape and benefits of staying put. Despite costs and benefits of escape may change during the season, previous studie...
Data
Article in Slovak press on the research and collection
Data
Article in Slovak press on the research and collection
Article
Full-text available
A collection of exotic birds deposited in the Šariš Museum in Bardejov (SMB), Slovakia, has not been evaluated critically since their deposition. We assessed the accuracy of identification of 465 bird specimens deposited in SMB with native distributions outside of Slovakia. Specimens belonged to 322 species of 82 families and 26 orders. Of the spec...
Data
Bird (A) and mammal (B) names used in internet search
Data
Bird–mammal association data for PGLS regressions This includes mean number of birds and mean mass of birds per mammal individual (g), total number of bird species per mammal species, mammal body mass (kg), mammal herd size, habitat openness and number of photos analysed per species (N).
Data
Data for quantitative bird–mammal association web reconstruction All birds (rows) and their host mammals (columns) identified to species level are included. Associations hihlighted by red are reported by Dean & MacDonald (1981), while associations highlighted by blue are not reported by them.
Article
Urban environments are very heterogeneous, and birds living in the proximity of humans have to adapt to local conditions, e.g. by changing their behavioural response to potential predators. In this study, we tested whether the escape distance of birds (measured as flight initiation distance; FID) differed between parks and cemeteries, areas charact...
Article
Full-text available
Birds sitting or feeding on live large African herbivorous mammals are a visible, yet quite neglected, type of commensalistic–mutualistic association. Here, we investigate general patterns in such relationships at large spatial and taxonomic scales. To obtain large-scale data, an extensive internet-based search for photos was carried out on Google...
Article
Like other animals, primates respond to predation using behavioural adaptations. Hence, they should optimise their escape strategy under the risk of predation, and flee at a distance, referred to as flight initiation distance (FID), when the fitness-related benefits of staying are balanced against the costs of escape. However, there is an absence o...
Poster
Full-text available
It has been suggested that the mastery and use of fire was one of the pivotal drivers of human evolution [1]. However, since habitual fire use appears rather late (∼1 Ma) in the archaeological record, its role remains disputed [2]. Recently, a new line of indirect evidence of the influence of fire on human evolution – the role of fire-prone environ...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we present results of the study on the aberrant plumage colouration of the bird specimens deposited in the collection of the Sarisske Museum Bardejov (SMB), Slovakia. Out of 5047 Slovak specimens stored in SMB, colour aberrations were found in 14 birds: six specimens of Passer domesticus, two specimens of Hirundo rustica, two specime...
Article
Full-text available
Fascination with animals and their behaviour is one the most prominent patterns persisting in all human cultures. During the last decades, however, technological development and public access to the Internet have increased the speed and the extent of information sharing at an unprecedented rate, in some cases even challenging the traditional method...
Article
Full-text available
1. Predation is an important selective pressure that can influence prey species in numerous ways. Predator–prey relationships are, however, poorly understood in taxa not typically associated with these interactions; this is especially the case when bats (Chiroptera) are the prey. 2. The main aim here is to review and synthesize global information...
Cover Page
Full-text available
article publié en ligne janvier 2016
Article
Full-text available
We report a case of unusual mixed nesting association of several pairs of Spanish Sparrows (Passer hispaniolensis) and one pair of Lesser Grey Shrikes (Lanius minor) near Pepelište village (41° 31' 11" N, 22° 7' 41" E), central Macedonia. All nests were built near the trunk of a Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) at a height of ca. 8 m. Although t...
Article
Full-text available
There is a new role in front of natural history museums in 21st century. Collections in museums, including the local ones, fulfill important role in documenting past states of biodiversity and providing benchmarks for understanding changes through time. One of most important collections in region of Central Europe is in the Sarisske Museum Bardejov...
Article
Full-text available
Although bats (Chiroptera) belong to the most diverse mammalian orders, study of diversity of their natural predators has been seriously neglected for a long time. While some recent reviews contain comprehensive overviews of our recent knowledge on these phenomena for some animal groups, such work is still lacking for anamniotes - fishes and amphib...
Article
Full-text available
Aimed to identify priority questions of ornithological research in Slovakia, 103 persons directly or indirectly involved in ornithological research and/or bird protection in the country were addressed by a simple questionary. The present paper brings synthesis of c. 130 answers gathered from 30 participants. The priority questions proposed for futu...
Article
Full-text available
Two new species of quill mites (Acari: Prostigmata: Syringophilidae) collected from passeriform and coraciiform birds from Kenya are described : Neoaulonastus apalis sp. nov. from Apalis porphyrolaema Reichenow and Neumann (Passer-iformes: Cisticolidae) and Peristerophila upupi sp. nov. from Upupa epops Linnaeus (Coraciiformes: Upupidae). Addi-tion...
Article
Full-text available
Birds inhabiting urban areas have to cope with novel conditions. Unlike natural habitats, birds in urban environments are exposed to an increased human presence which often induces stress. Urban birds with reduced sensitivity to human disturbance can obtain benefits such as longer foraging time or decreased energy costs for escape. Here, I tested t...
Article
Full-text available
The process of establishing breeding populations of birds in small towns of Central Europe provides a unique opportunity to study them during process of synurbization in statu nascendi. Over the years 2006-2011, we investigated the breeding ecology of three coexisting thrush species (Turdus spp.) in the urban habitats of the town of Bardejov (NE Sl...
Article
Full-text available
A previously undescribed Trichophyton species was isolated from the nail of a 33-year-old man with a history of probable distal lateral subungual onychomycosis (without confirmation by mycological examination). The infection occurred for the first time five years earlier (in 2006) and affected the right great toenail, with complete clinical remissi...
Article
Full-text available
In 2008 and 2009 I observed four cases of a Western Jackdaw (Corvus monedula) attacking bats (Chiroptera) in the Bardejov town (49°17'34"N, 21°16'40"E) in northeastern Slovakia. The attacks were recorded near flats in prefab houses before dusk. A half of the attacks were successful, while in two cases the bats managed to fly away.
Article
Full-text available
Bats (Chiroptera) and Common Swifts (Apus apus) are excellent fliers that use buildings as roosts and breeding sites in urban areas. Some predators have recently become adapted to hunting formerly unavailable prey. One such urban predator is the European Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus). We analyzed the diet and foraging behaviour of this species in Bar...
Article
The author states the occurrence of day-active butterflies (Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera) in the surroundings of town Bardejov in north-eastern Slovakia. The individuals were observed in summer months in years. Totally were observed 468 individuals of butterflies belonging to 51 species (six families). Obtained faunistic data could help to extend our k...
Article
In the period 2007-2013 (except 2012), passerine flocks (their species composition and number of individuals) were studied in urban and rural areas of the Bardejov town, northeastern Slovakia. I observed altogether 150 passerine flocks (35 urban, 115 rural) during my study. Homogeneous flocks were significantly more abundant in rural than in urban...
Article
Full-text available
Dismembered prey samples, especially lepidopterans, were collected using fine nets underneath feeding perches around the summer roost of Eptesicus serotinus in the Čentice village (Central Bohemia). We evaluated the total number of moths, species composition and dominance of particular species in the diet of E. serotinus during the summer season. I...
Article
Full-text available
Mikula P. 2012: Zloženie potravy sokola myšiara (Falco tinnunculus) počas letného obdobia v Bardejove na severovýchodnom Slovensku. Sylvia 48: 109–114. V práci sa zaoberám zložením potravy sokola myšiara (Falco tinnunculus) žijúceho v bez-prostrednom okolí mesta Bardejov v severovýchodnej časti Slovenska. Údaje som získaval z rozboru 427 vývržkov z...
Article
Full-text available
In the period from 2000 to 2010 species composition, dominance and type of distribution (breeding or wintering) were studied in urban habitats of Bardejov (northeastern Slovakia). Totally we found out distribution of 55 (38 breeding and 39 wintering) species in urban habitats in Bardejov. 32 species (58,2 %) bred and 25 species (45,5 %) also winter...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we evaluate a prevalence and infestation intensity of ticks obtained from birds, mainly passerines. During the research, we have captured 742 birds in Slovak karst and we collected ticks. We also determined tick instars. The most abundant were larvae and nymphs, but, in contrast to other studies from Slovakia, we have found out also s...

Questions

Questions (2)
Question
I am working on project dealing with African mammals and oxpeckers (exclusively obligate bird mutualists with African mammals). I know several papers describing territorial behaviour of oxpecker males toward intraspecific intruders during the breeding season. However, I was not able to find any paper describing whether is this species territorial (again toward intraspecific intruders) also during the feeding on large mammals. Does anybody know any study showing that oxpeckers behave on their mammal hosts territorially, preventing thus access by other unfamiliar individuals on the same mammal individual? Thank you very much for your help.

Projects

Projects (6)
Project
A) To evaluate broad geographic patterns of life-history, physiological and behavioural traits in passerine birds (Passeriformes) with a special focus on temperate and tropical regions and traits related to reproductive investments, sexual selection and survival. B) Study POLS related to (1) metabolism and resistance to oxidative damage, (2) innate immunity, (3) endocrinology, (4) physiological stress reaction, (5) growth and development, (6) escape behaviour.
Project
Behaviour is presumably the most important mechanism by which animals flexibly cope with fluctuating environments. Predation is one of the major causes of extrinsic mortality in animals, and it is considered an important selective force in the evolution of adaptive traits in all animals. Hence, animals have to optimize their escape strategies under the risk of predation. Optimal escape theory predicts that animals optimise their escape strategy and make a trade-off between the fitness-related benefits from staying and the costs of fleeing. However, escape strategies of animals are often taxon and context-dependant. Here, we focus on several aspects of risk-taking in various groups of wild living animals.
Project
Predation is an important selective pressure that can influence prey species in numerous ways. Despite bats (Chiroptera) are the second largest mammalian order, their relationship with predators is only poorly understood.