Behavioral correlates between daily activity and sociality in wild and captive origin African lions

E. J. Dunston, Jackie Abell, R. Freire

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    Study of behavioral correlations within and across populations has long been of interest to ethologists. An exploration of behavioral correlations between sociality and behavior of African lions (Panthera leo) was undertaken to examine if this approach is better able to reveal important aspects of lion behavior not easily discernible by looking at these behaviors separately. Resting behavior and received play interactions were correlated in 2 captive-origin prides and one wild pride, attributable to the involvement of cubs and sub-adults. Direct and exploratory movement was negatively correlated with groom centrality in 2 of the 3 prides, due to adults engaging in high levels of both of these activities. Exploration of these behavioral correlations highlighted the differences between age-groups in activity and sociality, facilitating the understanding of the complex behavior and interactions of lions. In addition, the finding of similar behavioral correlations between captive-origin and the wild prides provides confidence in the suitability if captive-origin candidates for ex-situ release. This is imperative to ensure the success of sub-groups and prides under an ex-situ reintroduction program.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere1208874
    JournalCommunicative & Integrative Biology
    Issue number5
    Early online date17 Aug 2016
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • African lion
    • behavioral correlations
    • daily activity
    • ex-situ reintroduction
    • social interactions
    • social network analysis

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
    • Environmental Science(all)
    • Psychology(all)


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