publication . Article

Social stability in semi-feral ponies: networks show inter-annual stability alongside seasonal flexibility

Stanley, CR; Mettke-Hofmann, C; Hager, R; Shultz, S;
Open Access English
  • Publisher: Elsevier Masson
  • Country: United Kingdom
Long-term relationships that underlie many stable mammalian groups often occur between philopatric kin. Although stable groups of nonrelatives appear to be less common, there is increasing evidence that social bonds between nonkin may confer sufficient intrinsic fitness benefits for these groups to persist. Here we evaluate whether social stability occurs in a bisexually dispersing species where social bonds have been shown to have reproductive benefits: the feral horse, Equus caballus. First, we quantified female social stability by applying a three-level framework to a 3-year data set of associations in semiferal ponies; this tested for stability at the indivi...
free text keywords: QH, QL
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