Abstract # 210:

Scheduled for Friday, June 19, 2015 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (Cascade AJBCD) Poster Presentation


FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE THE SUCCESS OF MALE INTRODUCTIONS TO ESTABLISHED BREEDING GROUPS OF RHESUS MACAQUES (MACACA MULATTA)

G. Von Scherr, A. Cerqueda, K. Cummings, D. Mesa Osorio, I. Barnes, C. Docampo, K. Bailey, L. Higley, A. Mercer, T. Meeker and R. C. Stavisky
Yerkes National Primate Research Center Field Station, Division of Animal Resources, 2409 Taylor Lane, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30043, USA
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     YNPRC Field Station Colony Management is tasked with introducing new breeder males to SPF rhesus breeding groups. Males are introduced every three years to increase genetic variability, avoid inbreeding and decrease the sex ratio. The success of these introductions is dependent on several factors: 1) Established relationships between males 2) Sexual attractiveness and receptivity of both sexes 3) Male experience 4) Group stability and 5) Presence of all high-ranking individuals. Of 13 introductions, 3 were unsuccessful. The key behaviors that were observed during failed introductions included male/male fighting, severe male and female trauma, increased female aggression, and lack of a relationship between the male(s) and alpha female. We compared trauma rates in one social group that experienced an unsuccessful (newly paired males) and successful introduction (established trio of males). While there was no difference in trauma rates across all of the animals, there was a significant difference in trauma rates in the higher ranking families. In the unsuccessful introduction, trauma rates among the top ranked female families was significantly higher than during the successful male introduction t = 2.79, p < 0.04. Further there was no male-male trauma observed during the successful male introduction. These data suggest that the stability of male relationships can predict the success of male introductions and influence the stability of the dominance hierarchy in socially housed rhesus macaques.