Chapter

Prologue

Joel Berger

in The Better to Eat You With

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9780226043630
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226043647 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226043647.003.0001
Prologue

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This chapter begins with the author's first-hand accounts about prey that are unafraid of predators due to lack of exposure to these. It then suggests that if there are lessons to be learned and applied to conservation, we need to look both to past and current attempts to understand how carnivore reintroductions affect modern prey. If naiveté contributes significantly to the evil quartet of extinction—overexploitation, habitat destruction, invading species, and secondary extinctions—we must know why, and develop remedies to enhance the path to survival. This book centers on three questions: (1) Can naive animals avoid death and population extinction when they encounter re-introduced carnivores? (2) To what extent is fear culturally transmitted? (3) How can an understanding of current behavior help unravel the ambiguity of past extinctions while contributing to future conservation?

Keywords: predators; prey; carnivore reintroductions; conservation; extinction; fear

Chapter.  1687 words. 

Subjects: Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology

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