Challenges of Flocking and Foraging

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Freshman (College 1st year) ・Environmental Science ・MLA ・3 Sources

Egologists consider that foraging and flocking are the most suitable types of feeding chain for foragers and predators current in the same area. Foraging and flocking have various advantages which include finding their meals at the same place and every animal feeding simultaneously. However, animals experience various challenges in flocking and foraging which encompass competition for the available food, which can lead to hunger. This experiment is meant to color more light on the issues that animals experience during flocking and foraging.
For a forager to live on in a foraging and flocking food chain, it has to eat and keep away from being eaten by the predator. Once the foragers’ food gets depleted, the predators stand the risk to starve and die (Powell 18). The hypothesis of this research would therefore be: exclusive use of an area gives advantage to an individual that would compensate for the time needed to defend that territory.

Methods

Results

Discussion

Analysis of the data from the study indicate that both foragers and predators in the food chain stand the risk to starve once the foragers’ foods gets depleted. In the study, two trials were conducted and in each of the trial, the number of starving animals increased with increase in the number of the days after the foods in the food chain started depleting. The first few days for instance, fewer animals starved since there was enough food and therefore, there was little competition for the available food. However, from the fifth day through the twentieth day, the number of starving animals progressively increased due to the depletion of the available feeds. It is evident therefore, that animals need to use their area in the food chain to have an advantage to compensate for the time needed to defend their territories so as to avoid starvation in the long-run (Caldwell 27).

Works Cited

Clark, Colin W., and Marc Mangel. "Foraging and flocking strategies: information in an uncertain environment." The American Naturalist 123.5 (1984): 626-641.
Powell, G. V. N. "Experimental analysis of the social value of flocking by starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) in relation to predation and foraging." Animal Behaviour 22.2 (1974): 501-505.
Caldwell, Gloria S. "Predation as a selective force on foraging herons: effects of plumage color and flocking." The Auk (1986): 494-505.

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