Abstract # 6184 Poster # 99:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 18, 2015 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (Cascade AJBCD) Poster Presentation


ASSESSING POTENTIAL INDICATORS OF GROUP COHESION IN ZOO-HOUSED CHIMPANZEES (PAN TROGLODYTES)

M. A. Shender, K. A. Cronin, S. R. Ross and L. M. Hopper
Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
line
     Little is known about what behavioral measures are best to generate consistent representations of captive chimpanzee social structure. Such information is useful for describing chimpanzee sociality, comparing groups across facilities, and facilitating animal management. As managers often have limited time to collect observational data, we sought to investigate the most efficient methods for describing chimpanzee group structure and whether different measures were comparable. We ran multiple social network analyses, using twice-weight association indices, from 12 months of observational data (826.5 hours from 2012 to 2013) of a stable chimpanzee group (n=6) housed at Lincoln Park Zoo. The four social behaviors analyzed were frequency of play, directional grooming, proximity (within 1m) and contact. Mantel tests were used to compare networks, with Bonferonni correction for multiple comparisons (adjusted alpha = 0.008). This revealed significant correlations between the three matrices that did not involve play (directional grooming and proximity: r= 0.711, p=0.004; directional grooming and contact: r=0.702, p=0.002; proximity and contact: r=0.839, p=0.001). Thus, these behaviors (contact, proximity and grooming) may provide equivalent representations of group cohesion, whereas play is a potential indicator for a different construct, although additional analyses with more groups are required. We propose that institutions consider focusing limited resources on just one of the three measures in order to define a group’s social network and better understand captive chimpanzee group cohesion.