Investigating the impacts of captive origin, time and vegetation on the daily activity of African lion prides

Emma Dunston, Jackie Abell, Rebecca Doyle, Jacqui Kirk, Victoria B. Hilley, Andrew Forsyth, Dominique McAllister, Rafael Freire

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Evaluation of activity budgets provides an indication of whether captive history has influenced the daily behaviour of animals within an ex situ reintroduction program. We conducted the first study to compare activity budgets of prides of captive-origin African lions (Panthera leo) to a wild pride investigated under the same methodologies. Behavioural data were collected via direct observations of individual lions. The vegetation type in which each pride was located was recorded at the beginning and end of each observation session. Behaviours were analysed via linear mixed models, using restricted maximum-likelihood analysis. Age, sex, origin, time observed and vegetation type were fitted as fixed factors to assess the main effects of significant interactions, while average temperature was fitted as a covariate. Resting and alert behaviours were found to vary at sex and age levels, with expected peaks and lows coinciding with observation session times. Captive-origin prides showed a decrease in resting and increase in alert and movement behaviours post 1700 hours, while this behavioural change was not observed for the wild prides. Males of the wild prides were observed to rest more than captive-origin counterparts, while this variation was not observed for females across origins. Vegetation was found to influence behaviour, with cubs being more alert and active in riverbed vegetation, and adults and sub-adults in shrubland. Overall, all prides were observed to exhibit behaviours at natural levels. This study provides a comprehensive assessment of the daily activity of lions critical to the pre-release evaluation of prides within an ex situ reintroduction program.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)187–195
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Ethology
    Volume35
    Issue number2
    Early online date15 Feb 2017
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - May 2017

    Keywords

    • panthera leo
    • behaviour
    • activity budget
    • reintroduction
    • captivity

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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  • Activities

    • 1 Public Engagement Event
    • 1 Invited talk

    Social Psychology of Conservation and the Environment

    Jackie Abell (Speaker)
    13 Jul 202014 Aug 2020

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventPublic Engagement Event

    Research Output

    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

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  • 5 Citations (Scopus)
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    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

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