Rhino avoiding people raw data

Published: 4 April 2020| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/gx8xv3nc7f.1
Roan Plotz


To study the role that oxpeckers might play in helping rhino evade humans, we recorded the number of oxpeckers seen on two groups of the rhinos we encountered. We predicted that if oxpeckers were acting as anti-human sentinels for rhino, then tagged rhino (fitted with horn-implant radio-transmitters), where radiotelemetry allowed us to avoid oxpecker and/or rhino detection, ought to have more oxpeckers present during encounters compared to encounters with untagged rhino, where radio-telemetry could not be used to avoid detection. Conversely, without the aid of radiotelemetry to avoid detection, we predicted that we ought to be much less successful at detecting untagged rhino we encountered if they had oxpeckers present, and so untagged rhino encountered ought to have much fewer oxpeckers. Our searches resulted in 100 encounters with tagged rhino (using radiotelemetry) and 100 encounters with untagged rhino made between April 2007 to July 2009. We found that tagged rhino carried the bird on their backs more than half the time (56%). The untagged black rhinos we found, carried no oxpeckers most of the time (17%). This raw data set consists of 4 worksheets detailed below: 1. Oxpecker number on tagged rhino: 100 encounters with rhino ID, dates, time and oxpecker number. 2. Oxpecker number on untagged rhino: 100 encounters with rhino ID, dates, time and oxpecker number. 3. Extra data for oxpecker on tagged rhino (186 encounters, 94 with oxpeckers /186=51% tagged rhino encounters with oxpeckers): during review, we included an additional 86 encounters with tagged rhino to show that oxpecker presence/number remained consistently above 50% on tagged rhino, suggesting that oxpecker presence on the general rhino population is around 50% of the time. 4. Sex differences with oxpecker number on untagged rhino: we compared the oxpecker number on male and female untagged rhino to see if there were sex differences. We found no significant difference.



Behavioral Ecology