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Sulawesi Crested Macaque ( Macaca nigra ) Grooming Networks Are Robust to Perturbation While Individual Associations Are More Labile
International Journal of Primatology ( IF 1.858 ) Pub Date : 2020-03-10 , DOI: 10.1007/s10764-020-00139-6
Veronica B. Cowl, Keith Jensen, Jessica M. D. Lea, Susan L. Walker, Susanne Shultz

Social and environmental disturbance occurs naturally, and species in bonded social groups should be resilient to it. Empirical evidence of social responses to disturbance in primates, however, remains limited. We constructed social networks using group-level scan samples (N = 299) to test the robustness of grooming networks in a captive group of 20 Sulawesi crested macaques (Macaca nigra) to two management interventions involving environmental and social disturbance. During the first, the institution removed six castrated males and one female, contracepted six of the nine remaining females, and moved the group to a new enclosure. The second involved the introduction of a novel, reproductive male five weeks later. Networks remained stable following the first intervention. However, after introduction of the male, the number of grooming partners and the frequency of grooming with non-maternal kin increased in female-only networks. We observed less marked increases in the grooming frequency and number of grooming partners in whole group networks. Ten weeks later, network structure was more similar to that of pre-intervention networks than post-intervention networks. Our results suggest that reproductive males play a more important role in structuring Sulawesi crested macaque social networks than castrated males, as networks expanded and relationships between non-maternal kin occurred more frequently after introduction of the reproductive male. However, network responses to interventions appeared to be temporary as networks following a period of acclimation more closely resembled pre-intervention networks than post-intervention networks. Our study demonstrates the utility of social network analysis for understanding the impact of disturbance on stable social groups.
更新日期:2020-04-16

 

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