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Reactive and pre-emptive spatial cohesion in a social primate

LaBarge, L.R.; Allan, A.T.L.; Berman, C.M.; Margulis, S.W.; Hill, R.A.

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L.R. LaBarge

Andy Allan
Assistant Professor Leverhulme Early Career Fellow

C.M. Berman

S.W. Margulis


Spatial cohesion in group-living animals is assumed as a risk-sensitive characteristic. Few studies have explicitly investigated this assumption or asked whether risk-related changes in spatial cohesion operate over short or long-term scales. We explored whether two groups of wild samango monkeys (Cercopithecus albogularis schwarzi) adjusted cohesion in reaction to naturally occurring risk from eagles and inter-group encounters using the number of conspecific neighbours as our response. Data on these directly observed encounters were used to assess reactive responses to immediate events. GPS-recorded locations of these encounters allowed us to create relative risk landscapes to investigate whether these groups might pre-emptively increase cohesion in high risk locations, in the absence of a direct threat. Multi-model inference was used to compare support for candidate models representing biological hypotheses. We found support for changes in cohesion in reaction to immediate inter-group conflict in both study groups. In contrast, only eagle risk apparently elicited a pre-emptive response. These results suggest that spatial cohesion is risk-sensitive, but that responses differ between types of risk and between groups.


LaBarge, L., Allan, A., Berman, C., Margulis, S., & Hill, R. (2020). Reactive and pre-emptive spatial cohesion in a social primate. Animal Behaviour, 163, 115-126.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 22, 2020
Online Publication Date Apr 8, 2020
Publication Date May 31, 2020
Deposit Date Jan 27, 2020
Publicly Available Date Apr 8, 2021
Journal Animal Behaviour
Print ISSN 0003-3472
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 163
Pages 115-126
Public URL


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