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Radicondoli, Italy

De Marco A.,Parco Faunistico di Piano dellAbatino | De Marco A.,University of Florence | Cozzolino R.,Ethoikos | Dessi-Fulgheri F.,University of Florence | Thierry B.,University of Strasbourg
Animal Behaviour

Aggression is potentially disruptive for social groups. Although individuals witnessing a conflict are not directly threatened by aggressive interactions, the aftermath of aggression appears to be a period of social instability. We expected bystanders to respond to conflicts by affiliating with other group members and so reducing social tension. To test this hypothesis we collected data on two captive groups of Tonkean macaques, Macaca tonkeana. After an agonistic interaction, the behaviours of focal individuals uninvolved in the conflict were recorded over 5. min postconflict periods, for comparison with baseline periods. The results showed that bystanders were more likely to show affiliation during postconflict periods than in baselines. We found that affiliation occurred more frequently between individuals linked by friendship, whereas no significant effect of kinship appeared, which may be related to the open social relationships reported in Tonkean macaques. Females initiated affiliation sooner than males and conflicts involving physical contact were more quickly followed by affiliation between bystanders. Rates of scratching tended to decrease after the first affiliative interaction. None the less, few signs of anxiety were observed in bystanders. Our results reflect the high propensity of Tonkean macaques to appease others and stop aggression. This study demonstrates that postconflict affiliation occurs between bystanders in a species characterized by tolerant social relationships. It could be a pervasive means of social cohesion among primates. © 2010 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Source

de Marco A.,Parco Faunistico di Piano dellAbatino | de Marco A.,French National Center for Scientific Research | de Marco A.,University of Florence | Cozzolino R.,Ethoikos | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Primatology

Sexual competition is potentially disruptive for the cohesion of social groups because stress and conflicts can extend to other group members. The displays and interactions of sexual partners are liable to influence the behavior of group-mates, which may need to observe them to anticipate possible consequences. We studied 2 captive groups of Tonkean macaques (Macaca tonkeana) to test whether group-mates pay more attention to consort partners, modify their activities and social interactions, and exhibit signs of stress during periods of sexual consortships. We found that group-mates approached the top-ranking male more frequently and were more frequently oriented toward the consort pair at the time of consortship than at other times. Group-mates spent less time sleeping, and devoted less time to manipulating the environment and more time to monitoring during consortship. This indicates that consortships may incur costs in individuals not involved in sexual competition. However, Tonkean macaques did not exhibit any signs of increased stress during consortship periods, as their rates of scratching and yawning did not differ between consortship and nonconsortship periods. This study shows that not only direct competitors but also other individuals monitor the behavior of sexual partners. It is likely that group-mates obtain information this way about ongoing action, and take decisions accordingly. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. Source

De Marco A.,Parco Faunistico di Piano dellAbatino | De Marco A.,French National Center for Scientific Research | De Marco A.,University of Florence | Cozzolino R.,Ethoikos | And 3 more authors.
American Journal of Physical Anthropology

Celebrations and bursts of communal joy can occur spontaneously in human communities based on mechanisms of emotional contagion. Some examples of similar collective excitement have been reported in animals when they reunite or anticipate rewards, but little is known about the processes and meaning of these multiple interactions. We experimentally studied such collective arousals in two captive groups of Tonkean macaques (Macaca tonkeana) within the context of reunions following the temporary separation of two subgroups. We compared the behaviors of individuals after separation periods of 2 and 48 h with a control period with no separation. This study showed that it is possible to reproducibly induce bursts of friendly interactions in which groupmates run around over a period of several minutes, embracing and grasping one another while displaying numerous affiliative vocalizations and facial expressions. The longer the period of separation, the higher and longer-lasting the rates of affiliative interactions were. Individuals affiliated more frequently with groupmates from a previously separated subgroup than with those having stayed in their own subgroup. Collective arousal was followed by a quieter period characterized by high rates of contact-sitting and social grooming. These results point at the role of collective arousals in social cohesion; they could resolve social tension and renew social relationships. We propose that the emotional state experienced by Tonkean macaques during such events represents a disposition similar to that giving rise to what we humans call "shared joy." © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc. Source

Manzo E.,Ethoikos | Bartolommei P.,Ethoikos | Rowcliffe J.M.,UK Institute of Zoology | Cozzolino R.,Ethoikos
Acta Theriologica

Evaluating presence and abundance of small carnivores is essential for their conservation. In Italy, there is scarce information on European pine marten distribution, and no data are published on its abundance. Camera traps have been widely used to estimate population density applying capture-recapture models for species in which individual recognition is possible. Here we estimate the abundance of European pine martens in central Italy using camera trapping and a model that allows the estimation of population density without the need for individual recognition Rowcliffe et al. (Anim Conserv 11:185-186, 2008). Camera trapping was also used to evaluate habitat use patterns by martens. Fifteen camera traps were deployed in 90 placements for 15 days each, for a total of 1,334 camera days. Pine martens were captured in 24% of camera trap placements with a mean trap success rate of 0.33 photographs per camera placement. Estimated pine marten population density in the study area was 0.34 individuals km -2. Marten trap rate was not strongly associated with any habitat type, although there were trends towards lower probability of records at locations with high coverage of cultivated fields and higher probability of records at locations with high coverage of human-made woodland. The results suggest that pine martens in this area are not confined to wooded habitat. To our knowledge, this study is the first application of the Rowcliffe et al. (Anim Conserv 11:185-186, 2008) method to a wild carnivore population and, furthermore, the first estimation of population density of pine martens in Italy. © 2012 Mammal Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences, Białowieża, Poland. Source

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