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1829 Talk: Modelling Sociality in mammalian carnivores

Badger © Kaleel Zibe

Friday 1 November, 18.29pm-18.45pm, Newcastle University – Ridley Building 2, room RIDB2.1.65

With Jessica Ward, Newcastle University

Sociality is a behaviour that is seen only amongst a small fraction of carnivore species. A carnivore living as part of a group runs the risk of being eaten should they upset their groupmate. Yet there appear to be several benefits to group living that suggest it may be a favourable strategy. Why then are lions social but not tigers? Why do meerkats live in large groups but many mongoose species do not? Furthermore, why do some species such as the European badger live socially in some parts of their geographic range but not in others? My research investigates why sociality occurs in carnivores through considering their natural history, population processes and their environments. Using computational models to quantify the factors that influence the spatial and social organisation of mammalian carnivores we can understand how best to protect threatened carnivore species.