Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Predation risk places a pressure on animals to adopt mechanisms by which they reduce their individual risk of being preyed on. However, a consensus on methods of determining predation risk has yet to be reached. One of the most widespread ways in which animals respond to predation risk is by living in groups. Minimum permissible group size is the smallest group size that animals are able to live in, given the habitat-specific predation risk they face. We explore ways in which predation risk can be measured and analyse its effect on minimum observed group size in baboons. Using data on predator density, habitat composition and baboon body size, we investigate the impact of the components of predation risk on baboon group size, and derive an equation that best predicts minimum group size. Minimum group size in baboons is related to predator density and female body mass. Both of these elements can, in turn, be estimated from environmental variables. These findings present support for the argument that group living in primates is a response to predation risk and offer potentially new ways of investigating carnivore and primate ecology.

Original publication

DOI

10.1159/000339808

Type

Journal article

Journal

Folia Primatol (Basel)

Publication Date

2012

Volume

83

Pages

332 - 352

Keywords

Africa, Animals, Body Weight, Carnivora, Ecosystem, Female, Food Chain, Male, Papio, Population Density, Social Behavior, Species Specificity