Abstract # 13156 Poster # 77:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 9, 2018 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (Chula Vista ) Poster Presentation


EFFECTS OF BREEDING AGE RHESUS MACAQUE FEMALES ON MALE-TO-MALE DOMINANCE, TRAUMA RATES AND GROOMING DURING LARGE GROUP INTRODUCTIONS

M. A. Bloomsmith, S. Moss, M. Wilson, R. Stavisky, T. Meeker and C. Long
Yerkes National Primate Res. Ctr., Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA
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     Multi-male cohorts are important for reproductive success, genetic diversity, and social stability in large breeding groups of rhesus macaques. Maintaining stable breeder male groups that can rotate into different female groups every 3-4 years can be challenging due to aggression and dominance changes following exposure to novel females. Three groups of 3 to 7 males (N=15) established for >72 months were assessed (50 hours observation/group) for baseline dominance, grooming and trauma data prior to their introduction to females and during the first 4-weeks of introduction to females (41 to 100 hours observation/group). Two of the male groups (n=5,3) maintained the dominance ranks they had prior to the introduction (Spearman’s rho=1.0; p=0.02; 0.33), while all experienced a decrease in male/male grooming (85-100% reduction) and the incidence of males receiving trauma increased by 93%. Two groups successfully integrated with females; the one that was disbanded due to severe wounding had very low grooming rates throughout the study. One of the successful male groups experienced increased trauma rates (0.07/monkey/day to 0.33) and a dominance shift (Spearman’s rho= 0.89; p=0.01), but were nonetheless integrated into the female group. We conclude that even well-established male groups may experience dominance and grooming relationship changes during introduction to females, but these do not necessarily preclude successful group integration. Future work will focus on more detailed characterization of male/male relationships prior to introductions.