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Ex situ lion conservation: Behavioural responses to playbacks of competitors with focus on sex and age differences
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Due to increasing habitat loss, human-lion conflict, poaching and other reasons, African lion (Panthera leo) populations have suffered a drastic decline. The African Lion and Environmental Research Trust (ALERT) is working to stop this pattern and is the first organization with an ex-situ conservation project for lions. Before releasing lions raised by captive-bred adults, they must first be ensured to behave properly to make sure they have the highest chance of survival. One challenge in the wild is encountering and competition with unknown conspecifics. By conducting playback of unfamiliar lion roars, the behaviours of lions under this ex-situ reintroduction program were tested and compared with observations from earlier studies of wild lions. Social interactions were also collected and a social network analysis was done to give information about the social structure in the pride. This in turn was compared with boldness scores, calculated from behavioural responses in the playback experiments. Lastly, I searched for associations between age and sex with both boldness and social interactions.

 

The studied pride consisted of 12 lions. The lions were more vigilant when a playback consisted of numerous lions vocalizing, but playing more than three lions seemed to make them loose interest, suggesting either habituation or false information. One adult female and the alpha-male were most bold, followed by five sub-adults. Boldness did not vary according to sex or age differences, but the social network analysis showed that some social interactions were more dominated by one sex or age group. These behaviours were in agreement with comparisons of wild prides.

 

This study showed that captive-bred lions have developed natural social behaviours. Based on the behavioural responses observed by the captive-origin lions to the playbacks of unfamiliar lions, it is unclear whether these lions would appropriately respond when encountered with unfamiliar conspecifics in the wild post-release.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 28
National Category
Behavioral Sciences Biology Zoology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-67338OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-67338DiVA, id: diva2:1134963
External cooperation
African Lion & Environmental Research Trust
Subject / course
Biology
Educational program
Biology Programme, 180 credits
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-08-22 Created: 2017-08-22 Last updated: 2017-08-22Bibliographically approved

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fulltext(1131 kB)153 downloads
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf