Abstract # 24:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 21, 2012 04:30 PM-04:45 PM: Session 6 (Magnolia) Oral Presentation


A COMPARISON OF WITHIN-GROUP AFFILIATIVE AND AGONISTIC BEHAVIORS AT DIFFERENT PROXIMITIES TO ESTIMATED TERRITORIAL BOUNDARIES IN RING-TAILED LEMURS AT BERENTY RESERVE, MADAGASCAR

A. T. Kuykendall, S. Peterson, A. Niemeyer and A. S. Mertl-Millhollen
Portland State University, Adam Kuykendall, Portland, Oregon 97201, USA
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      Within-group relationships may be reinforced by between-group competition, which may influence the relative proportion of affiliative and agonistic behaviors in primate social relationships. We predicted that within-group relationships are positively reinforced by proximity to neighboring/competing troops, and that this will be made evident by an increase in within-group affiliative behaviors when near territorial borders. We tested this prediction by examining the relative frequency of within-group affiliative and agonistic social interactions in a group of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) in Berenty Reserve, Madagascar, during June-early July 2010. We collected 200 hours of continuous ad libitum focal animal behavior samples during 21 full days following a troop of four females and one male. Their home range of 5 ha included gallery forest and a tourist area.  We examined their behavior in relation to their proximity to 17 observed between-group encounters. We recorded 38 grooming and 69 spat or displacement interactions overall.  When the relative frequency of affiliative and agonistic events occurring at 25m or less from the between-group encounters are compared with the frequencies at 100m or more distance, there was a significantly greater proportion of affiliative to agonistic behavior when the troop was near sites of between-group encounters (N=88, df=1, c2=4.65 Chi Square Test), indicating that between-group competition does positively reinforce within-group affiliative relationships.