Examination of some factors affecting selection of fish prey by otters (Lutra lutra) living by eutrophic fish ponds

J. Lanszki, S. Körmendi, C. Hancz, T. G. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this study the predation and fish prey selection of otters Lutra lutra L. living by eutrophic fish ponds on agricultural land and in a protected area of temperate climate in Hungary were investigated. The correlations between fish in the diet of the otters (by spraint analysis involved 1942 and 1280 samples for the two habitats) and the fish stock available (by harvest and sample fishing) were generally close. Prey selection was significantly related to selected species of a particular size range (P <0.01). The preference calculations were performed with Ivlev's index of preference (Ei, minimum - 1, maximum +1). Regardless of species, the otters avoided (Ei = -0.51) fish heavier than 1000 g, with a preference for individuals weighing between 500 and 1000 g (Ei = 0.79). No substantial or clear preference was observed in the weight range below 500 g (Ei = -0.02-0.38). The preference for fish in accordance with their characteristic sites of occurrence within the body of water was also significant (P <0.01). They avoided fish living primarily in open water (Ei = -0.64) and to a lesser degree those occurring near the pond bed (Ei = -0.22). They favoured fish inhabiting the area with a covering of aquatic plants (Ei = 0.46), and showed a preference to a lesser degree for fish living in the shallow littoral regions (Ei = 0.14). With the cessation of fish farming and the effect of the drastic changes which occurred in the vegetation, the otters fed substantially on the stock of alternative sources of prey such as amphibians and water insects as well as terrestrial animals, and at such times, depending on season, fish became a secondary source of prey.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-103
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Zoology
Volume255
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Fingerprint

Lutra lutra
fish ponds
pond
fish
prey selection
aquatic plant
aquatic plants
fish culture
temperate zones
open water
Hungary
amphibian
range size
body water
amphibians
protected area
agricultural land
conservation areas
fishing
predation

Keywords

  • Hungary
  • Lutra lutra
  • Prey selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

Examination of some factors affecting selection of fish prey by otters (Lutra lutra) living by eutrophic fish ponds. / Lanszki, J.; Körmendi, S.; Hancz, C.; Martin, T. G.

In: Journal of Zoology, Vol. 255, No. 1, 2001, p. 97-103.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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