Abstract # 91:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 14, 2014 10:40 AM-10:55 AM: Session 14 (Mary Gay) Oral Presentation


MATRILINE FRAGMENTATION AND ALOPECIA IN CAPTIVE OUTDOOR SOCIALLY-HOUSED RHESUS MACAQUES (MACACA MULATTA)

D. Hannibal1, B. Beisner1 and B. McCowan1,2
1California National Primate Research Center, UC Davis, Davis, CA 95616, USA, 2Population, Health, and Reproduction, UC Davis, Davis, CA, 95616, USA
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     Alopecia is common in captive primates with multiple possible etiologies, including psychosocial stress. Matriline fragmentation (low matriline relatedness coefficients) can occur as captive groups age and older females die or are removed from groups. Matriline fragmentation is an established source of group instability in rhesus macaques with potential effects on psychosocial stress and health outcomes. We investigate whether experimental removal of matriline fragments to increase relatedness of remaining members (defragmentation) is associated with increased stability and improved alopecia. 103 subjects aged 3 to 29 from a vasectomized group were scored for alopecia every two weeks during 7 week pre-removal, 7 week post-removal, and 7 week follow-up phases from March 2013 through July 2013. During the entire study, grooming and hairplucking scans were conducted weekly. Males from defragmented matrilines showed no change in the post-removal period (Beta=-0.56; p = 0.283), but improved during the follow-up period (Beta=-1.69; p=0.001). Grooming and hairplucking variables were not significant for males. Females from matrilines with fewer removals exhibited modest improvement during the follow-up (follow-up X proportion of matriline removed: Beta=1.93; p = 0.088). Females that engaged in more hairplucking had worse alopecia scores in the post-removal (Beta=0.01; p = 0.05) and follow-up period (Beta=0.49; p = 0.025). For most animals in the group, alopecia improved after the manipulation, but sex and relationship to removed animals are important factors.