A social network analysis of social cohesion in a constructed pride: Implications for ex situ reintroduction of the African Lion (Panthera leo)

Jackie Abell, M.W.B. Kirzinger, Y. Gordon, J. Kirk, R. Kokeŝ, K. Lynas, B. Mandinyenya, D. Youldon

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    9 Citations (Scopus)
    37 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Animal conservation practices include the grouping of captive related and unrelated individuals to form a social structure which is characteristic of that species in the wild. In response to the rapid decline of wild African lion (Panthera leo) populations, an array of conservational strategies have been adopted. Ex situ reintroduction of the African lion requires the construction of socially cohesive pride structures prior to wild release. This pilot study adopted a social network theory approach to quantitatively assess a captive pride's social structure and the relationships between individuals within them. Group composition (who is present in a group) and social interaction data (social licking, greeting, play) was observed and recorded to assess social cohesion within a released semi-wild pride. UCINET and SOCPROG software was utilised to represent and analyse these social networks. Results indicate that the pride is socially cohesive, does not exhibit random associations, and the role of socially influential keystone individuals is important for maintaining social bondedness within a lion pride. These results are potentially informative for the structure of lion prides, in captivity and in the wild, and could have implications for captive and wild-founder reintroductions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere82541
    JournalPLoS ONE
    Volume8
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Bibliographical note

    This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ .

    Keywords

    • adult
    • animal behavior
    • article
    • cub
    • female
    • group dynamics
    • keystone species
    • male
    • nonhuman
    • Panthera
    • Panthera leo
    • pilot study
    • social bonding
    • social cohesion
    • social interaction
    • social network
    • social structure
    • species reintroduction

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A social network analysis of social cohesion in a constructed pride: Implications for ex situ reintroduction of the African Lion (Panthera leo)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Activities

    • 8 Invited talk
    • 1 Public Engagement Event
    • 1 Participation in workshop, seminar, course

    Social Psychology of Conservation and the Environment

    Jackie Abell (Speaker)
    13 Jul 202014 Aug 2020

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventPublic Engagement Event

    Conserving Lions: Threats, Solutions & Social Networks

    Jackie Abell (Speaker)
    16 Nov 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

    Research Output

    • 9 Citations
    • 3 Article

    The Psychologists' Tree of Life: A Special Feature on Psychologists Working with Non-Human Animals. A Matter of Pride

    Abell, J., 1 Oct 2018, The Psychologist magazine, 31 2 p.

    Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

    Open Access
  • An assessment of African lion Panthera leo sociality via social network analysis: prerelease monitoring for an ex situ reintroduction program

    Dunston, E., Abell, J., Doyle, R., Kirk, J., Hilley, V. B., Forsyth, A. & Jenkins, E., Jun 2017, In : Current Zoology. 63, 3, p. 301-311 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    File
  • 5 Citations (Scopus)
    41 Downloads (Pure)

    Does captivity influence territorial and hunting behaviour? Assessment for an ex-situ reintroduction program of African lions (Panthera leo)

    Dunston, E., Abell, J., Doyle, R., Duffy, D., Poynter, C., Kirk, J., Hilley, V., Forsyth, A., Jenkins, E., Mcallister, D. & Freire, R., Oct 2017, In : Mammal Review. 47, 4, p. 254-260 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Press / Media

    Lateral Magazine: The Pride of Africa

    Jackie Abell

    17/05/17

    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Expert Comment

    Inside Track: taking steps towards a future for the African lion

    Jackie Abell

    19/08/13

    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Expert Comment

    Can captive-bred lions contribute to saving this vulnerable species?

    Jackie Abell

    5/08/13

    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Expert Comment

    Cite this

    Abell, J., Kirzinger, M. W. B., Gordon, Y., Kirk, J., Kokeŝ, R., Lynas, K., ... Youldon, D. (2013). A social network analysis of social cohesion in a constructed pride: Implications for ex situ reintroduction of the African Lion (Panthera leo). PLoS ONE, 8(12), [e82541].