Abstract # 186:

Scheduled for Friday, June 21, 2013 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 21 (SG Foyer ABC) Poster Presentation


SHORT TERM STEEPNESS CHANGES IN TIBETAN MACAQUES (MACACA THIBETANA) AT MT. HUANGSHAN, CHINA

E. S. Dunayer1, C. M. Berman1, M. D. Matheson2, L. K. Sheeran3,4, J. Li5 and R. S. Wagner3,6
1University at Buffalo SUNY, Evolution, Ecology and Behavior Program, Buffalo, NY 14210, USA, 2Psychology Department, Central Washington University, 3Primate Behavior and Ecology Program, Central Washington University, 4Anthropology Department, Central Washington University, 5School of Life Sciences, Anhui University, 6Biology Department, Central Washington University
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     Dominance styles are often classified as ranging from egalitarian to despotic based on the steepness of a group’s hierarchy, and Normalized David’s Scores (NDS) provide a quantitative measure of assessing steepness. Steepness is hypothesized to be affected by within group competition (WGC) and to be associated with changes in a number of behavior patterns, including patterns of exchange. However, our understanding of what specific factors affect steepness is incomplete. Nor do we know what time scales they may work on. We examined whether short term stressors altered hierarchical steepness in wild, but provisioned Macaca thibetana. Tourists have the potential to influence WGC by providing macaques with illicit and monopolizable food, while corn provisioning also leads to increased aggression. We used all occurrence sampling to record 184 instances of aggression among 12 adults and calculated steepness scores for four conditions based on the presence vs. absence of provisioned corn and tourists. ANCOVA was used to identify differences in steepness when corn and tourists were present vs. absent. Hierarchies were steeper when corn was present (F(1,23)= 33.44; p <0.001), but not when tourists were present(F(1,23)= 1.757; p= 0.200). Previous research found that tourism resulted in increased rates of aggression and infant mortality; however, our results show that provisioning is also impacting macaque behavior in short-term ways that influence social structure.