BACKGROUND: The ability of a prey species to assess the risk that a predator poses can have important ftness advantages for the prey species. To better understand predator–prey interactions, more species need to be observed to
determine how prey behavioral responses difer in intensity when approached by diferent types of predators. The
plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) is preyed upon by all predators occurring in its distribution area. Therefore, it is an
ideal species to study anti-predator behavior. In this study, we investigated the intensity of anti-predator behavior
of pikas in response to visual cues by using four predator species models in Maqu County on the eastern QinghaiTibetan Plateau.
RESULTS: The behavioral response metrics, such as Flight Initiation Distance (FID), the hiding time and the percentage
of vigilance were signifcantly diferent when exposed to a Tibetan fox, a wolf, a Saker falcon and a large-billed crow,
respectively. Pikas showed a stronger response to Saker falcons compared to any of the other predators.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results showed that pikas alter their behavioral (such as FID, the hiding time and the vigilance)
response intensity to optimally balance the benefts when exposed to diferent taxidermy predator species models. We conclude that pikas are able to assess their actual risk of predation and show a threat-sensitive behavioral