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Can fear conditioning repel California sea lions from fishing activities?

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Can fear conditioning repel California sea lions from fishing activities? / Schakner, Zachary A.; Götz, Thomas; Janik, Vincent M.; Blumstein, Daniel T.

In: Animal Conservation, Vol. 20, No. 5, 10.2017, p. 425-432.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Harvard

Schakner, ZA, Götz, T, Janik, VM & Blumstein, DT 2017, 'Can fear conditioning repel California sea lions from fishing activities?', Animal Conservation, vol. 20, no. 5, pp. 425-432. https://doi.org/10.1111/acv.12329

APA

Schakner, Z. A., Götz, T., Janik, V. M., & Blumstein, D. T. (2017). Can fear conditioning repel California sea lions from fishing activities? Animal Conservation, 20(5), 425-432. https://doi.org/10.1111/acv.12329

Vancouver

Schakner ZA, Götz T, Janik VM, Blumstein DT. Can fear conditioning repel California sea lions from fishing activities? Animal Conservation. 2017 Oct;20(5):425-432. https://doi.org/10.1111/acv.12329

Author

Schakner, Zachary A. ; Götz, Thomas ; Janik, Vincent M. ; Blumstein, Daniel T. / Can fear conditioning repel California sea lions from fishing activities?. In: Animal Conservation. 2017 ; Vol. 20, No. 5. pp. 425-432.

Bibtex - Download

@article{e7362f684b364ac69272f036343c9940,
title = "Can fear conditioning repel California sea lions from fishing activities?",
abstract = "Marine mammal interactions with fisheries create conflicts that can threaten human safety, economic interests and marine mammal survival. A deterrent that capitalizes on learning mechanisms, like fear conditioning, may enhance success while simultaneously balancing welfare concerns and reduce noise pollution. During fear conditioning, individuals learn the cues that precede the dangerous stimuli, and respond by avoiding the painful situations. We tested the efficacy of fear conditioning using acoustic stimuli for reducing California sea lion Zalophus californianus interactions from two fishing contexts in California, USA; bait barges and recreational fishing vessels. We performed conditioning trials on 24 individual sea lions interacting with bait barges. We tested for acquisition of conditioned fear by pairing a neutral tone with a startle stimulus. Avoidance was strongest in response to the startle stimulus alone, but low when paired with a neutral tone. From actively fishing vessels, we tested for fear conditioning by exposing sea lions to a neutral tone followed by a startle pulse, a startle pulse alone or a no sound control. We conducted playbacks from 146 (including 48 no sound control) stops over two summer fishing seasons (2013, 2014). The startle stimulus decreased surfacing frequency, reduced bait foraging and increased surfacing distance from the vessel while the conditioned stimulus only caused a mild reduction in surfacing frequency with no other behavioral change. Exposing animals to a pair of a conditioned stimulus with a startle pulse did not achieve the intended management outcome. Rather, it generated evidence (in two study contexts) of immediate learning that led to the reduction of the unconditioned response. Taken together, our results suggest that for fear conditioning to be applied as a non-lethal deterrent, careful consideration has to be given to individual behavior, the unconditioned/conditioned responses and the overall management goals.",
keywords = "Conservation behavior, Marine mammal fisheries conflict, Fear conditioning, Non-lethal deterrents, Sea lions, Acoustic stimuli, Startle effect, Human-wildlife conflict",
author = "Schakner, {Zachary A.} and Thomas G{\"o}tz and Janik, {Vincent M.} and Blumstein, {Daniel T.}",
note = "Z.S. was supported by a NSF predoctoral fellowship and by a grant from the LaKretz Center for California Conservation Science. D.T.B. was supported by the NSF during manuscript preparation.",
year = "2017",
month = oct,
doi = "10.1111/acv.12329",
language = "English",
volume = "20",
pages = "425--432",
journal = "Animal Conservation",
issn = "1367-9430",
publisher = "John Wiley & Sons, Ltd (10.1111)",
number = "5",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) - Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - Can fear conditioning repel California sea lions from fishing activities?

AU - Schakner, Zachary A.

AU - Götz, Thomas

AU - Janik, Vincent M.

AU - Blumstein, Daniel T.

N1 - Z.S. was supported by a NSF predoctoral fellowship and by a grant from the LaKretz Center for California Conservation Science. D.T.B. was supported by the NSF during manuscript preparation.

PY - 2017/10

Y1 - 2017/10

N2 - Marine mammal interactions with fisheries create conflicts that can threaten human safety, economic interests and marine mammal survival. A deterrent that capitalizes on learning mechanisms, like fear conditioning, may enhance success while simultaneously balancing welfare concerns and reduce noise pollution. During fear conditioning, individuals learn the cues that precede the dangerous stimuli, and respond by avoiding the painful situations. We tested the efficacy of fear conditioning using acoustic stimuli for reducing California sea lion Zalophus californianus interactions from two fishing contexts in California, USA; bait barges and recreational fishing vessels. We performed conditioning trials on 24 individual sea lions interacting with bait barges. We tested for acquisition of conditioned fear by pairing a neutral tone with a startle stimulus. Avoidance was strongest in response to the startle stimulus alone, but low when paired with a neutral tone. From actively fishing vessels, we tested for fear conditioning by exposing sea lions to a neutral tone followed by a startle pulse, a startle pulse alone or a no sound control. We conducted playbacks from 146 (including 48 no sound control) stops over two summer fishing seasons (2013, 2014). The startle stimulus decreased surfacing frequency, reduced bait foraging and increased surfacing distance from the vessel while the conditioned stimulus only caused a mild reduction in surfacing frequency with no other behavioral change. Exposing animals to a pair of a conditioned stimulus with a startle pulse did not achieve the intended management outcome. Rather, it generated evidence (in two study contexts) of immediate learning that led to the reduction of the unconditioned response. Taken together, our results suggest that for fear conditioning to be applied as a non-lethal deterrent, careful consideration has to be given to individual behavior, the unconditioned/conditioned responses and the overall management goals.

AB - Marine mammal interactions with fisheries create conflicts that can threaten human safety, economic interests and marine mammal survival. A deterrent that capitalizes on learning mechanisms, like fear conditioning, may enhance success while simultaneously balancing welfare concerns and reduce noise pollution. During fear conditioning, individuals learn the cues that precede the dangerous stimuli, and respond by avoiding the painful situations. We tested the efficacy of fear conditioning using acoustic stimuli for reducing California sea lion Zalophus californianus interactions from two fishing contexts in California, USA; bait barges and recreational fishing vessels. We performed conditioning trials on 24 individual sea lions interacting with bait barges. We tested for acquisition of conditioned fear by pairing a neutral tone with a startle stimulus. Avoidance was strongest in response to the startle stimulus alone, but low when paired with a neutral tone. From actively fishing vessels, we tested for fear conditioning by exposing sea lions to a neutral tone followed by a startle pulse, a startle pulse alone or a no sound control. We conducted playbacks from 146 (including 48 no sound control) stops over two summer fishing seasons (2013, 2014). The startle stimulus decreased surfacing frequency, reduced bait foraging and increased surfacing distance from the vessel while the conditioned stimulus only caused a mild reduction in surfacing frequency with no other behavioral change. Exposing animals to a pair of a conditioned stimulus with a startle pulse did not achieve the intended management outcome. Rather, it generated evidence (in two study contexts) of immediate learning that led to the reduction of the unconditioned response. Taken together, our results suggest that for fear conditioning to be applied as a non-lethal deterrent, careful consideration has to be given to individual behavior, the unconditioned/conditioned responses and the overall management goals.

KW - Conservation behavior

KW - Marine mammal fisheries conflict

KW - Fear conditioning

KW - Non-lethal deterrents

KW - Sea lions

KW - Acoustic stimuli

KW - Startle effect

KW - Human-wildlife conflict

U2 - 10.1111/acv.12329

DO - 10.1111/acv.12329

M3 - Article

VL - 20

SP - 425

EP - 432

JO - Animal Conservation

JF - Animal Conservation

SN - 1367-9430

IS - 5

ER -

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