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Interspecific Interactions between Badgers and Red-Tailed Hawks in the Sonoran Desert, Southwestern Arizona

Patrick K. Devers, Kiana Koenen and Paul R. Krausman
The Southwestern Naturalist
Vol. 49, No. 1 (Mar., 2004), pp. 109-111
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3672278
Page Count: 3
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Interspecific Interactions between Badgers and Red-Tailed Hawks in the Sonoran Desert, Southwestern Arizona
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Abstract

Interspecific and intraspecific relationships have received much attention from ecologists and play an important role in the structure of wildlife communities, but researchers have rarely attempted to study interactions between phylogenetically unrelated organisms. We observed 6 interactions between badgers (Taxidea taxus) and red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) between February and June 1999 on the Barry M. Goldwater Tactical Range (32°53′06″N, 112°43′24″W) near Ajo, Arizona. Each interaction lasted 5 to 20 minutes. Interactions were characterized by a red-tailed hawk following a badger as it searched for prey. On 2 occasions, red-tailed hawks apparently attempted to take prey items escaping from a badger. Badgers and red-tailed hawks feed primarily on small mammals, suggesting possible competition between the 2 species. Further research is needed to determine if badgers and red-tailed hawks in the Sonoran Desert are competing for a limiting resource or if one species (presumably the red-tailed hawk) is benefiting from the interaction without affecting the other species (badger). /// Las relaciones inter e intraespecíficas han recibido mucha atención por parte de ecólogos y juegan un papel importante en la estructura de las comunidades de fauna silvestre, pero los investigadores raramente intentan estudiar interacciones entre organismos filogenéticamente no relacionados. Observamos 6 interacciones entre tejones (Taxidea taxus) y aguilillas coliroja (Buteo jamaicensis) entre febrero y junio de 1999 en la zona de Barry M. Goldwater Tactical Range (32°53′06″N, 112°43′24″O) cerca de Ajo, Arizona. Cada interacción duró de 5 a 20 minutos. Las interacciones consistieron en el seguimiento de una aguililla coliroja a un tejón mientras buscaba presas. En 2 ocasiones, una aguililla coliroja aparentemente intentó tomar una presa que se escapaba del tejón. Los tejones y las aguilillas coliroja se alimentan principalmente de mamíferos pequeños, lo que sugiere una posible competencia entre las 2 especies. Se necesita más investigación para determinar si los tejones y las aguilillas coliroja en el desierto Sonorense están compitiendo por un recurso limitado o si una de las especies (presumiblemente la aguililla coliroja) se beneficia de la interacción sin afectar a la otra especie (el tejón).

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