People passionate about nature

Decoding the Chatter: How Richardson’s Ground Squirrels Sound the Alarm


Dr. James Hare, Dept. of Biological Sciences, University of Manitoba


Monday, October 20, 2014

Start Time: 

7:30 pm


Franco-Manitoban Cultural Centre, 340 Provencher Blvd on second floor - Salle Antoine-Gaborieau.


$2 for members and $3 for non-members.

Jim Hare has specialized in the study of animal behaviour for over 30 years, focusing on ants, moths, fireflies, squirrels, bats, birds, fish, snakes and humans. With his students, Jim has made intriguing discoveries regarding how Richardson's ground squirrels – a species that humans often take for granted and target for extermination – communicate within their colonies to cope with their many predators. He will show us evidence of the exacting abilities of these squirrels to broadcast and decode information regarding predators, as well as cognitive skills we normally deny non-human animals. Squirrels recognize alarm callers as individuals, allowing them to count the number of individuals calling, and to track the movement of predators within their colony by integrating information from multiple signalers. They also base their response to individual callers on how reliable those individuals have been in the past! Upon hearing what these common prairie animals can do, you'll undoubtedly have newfound respect for these and the other animals we share the world with!