Stopping rules for optimal foragers.

R. F. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations


A mathematically tractable stochastic model is presented in which animals forage systematically for prey distributed in patches, and 3 possible strategies (stopping rules) are considered. The best rule is found and compared with the giving-up time (GUT) rule and a fixed-time rule in which the forager remains until it has exhausted each patch. The GUT rule is better than the fixed-time rule for variable patches, and it is relatively insensitive to environmental changes, but it is not as good as the best rule (the assessment rule). The assessment rule is robust in the sense that the rate of finding prey achieved by a rule of the 'assessment' type changes very little as the rule changes. This also means that a rule that is best for one environment will be quite good for environments that are substantially different. -from Author

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-43
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Naturalist
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1984

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