Abstract

We analyzed the behavior of two separate impala (Aepyceros melampus) herds within the Wits Rural facility in Limpopo Province, South Africa. We hypothesized that fawns would spend less time vigilant than the adults and would spend more time in social interactions and foraging. We also hypothesized that the alpha (dominant) male would spend a greater portion of his time vigilant than the adult females, who would spend a greater amount of time foraging. The two herds were separated by roughly 2 km in a lightly forested savanna biome. There were 20-40 individuals in each herd. Each herd consisted entirely of mothers and fawns with a single alpha male among the herd. Random individuals within the herds were selected and their behaviors were recorded from a distance every 15 seconds. Observations on individuals varied in duration from 5-30 minutes. Date, time of day and habitat were also recorded during each observance. Eleven standard behaviors were observed. These behaviors included: foraging, vigilance, nursing, fawn-tending, excretion, interactions with other individuals (notes of the interactions were made), other (notes of their behavior were made), individual became out of view, vocalizations, grooming, and bedding down.

Modified Abstract

We analyzed the behavior of two separate impala (Aepyceros melampus) herds in South Africa. We hypothesized that fawns would spend less time vigilant than the adults and would spend more time in social interactions and foraging. We also hypothesized that the alpha male would spend a greater portion of his time vigilant than the adult females. The two herds were separated by roughly 2 km, and each herd consisted entirely of mothers and fawns with a single alpha male. Random individuals within the herds were selected and their behaviors were recorded from a distance every 15 seconds. Observations on individuals varied in duration from 5-30 minutes. Date, time of day and habitat were also recorded during each observance. Eleven standard behaviors were observed.

Research Category

Biology/Ecology

Primary Author's Major

Biology

Mentor #1 Information

Dr. Ward

Presentation Format

Poster

Start Date

21-3-2017 12:00 AM

Research Area

Behavior and Ethology | Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

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Mar 21st, 12:00 AM

The impacts of age and sex on behavior in a territorial herd of impalas (Aepyceros melampus)

We analyzed the behavior of two separate impala (Aepyceros melampus) herds within the Wits Rural facility in Limpopo Province, South Africa. We hypothesized that fawns would spend less time vigilant than the adults and would spend more time in social interactions and foraging. We also hypothesized that the alpha (dominant) male would spend a greater portion of his time vigilant than the adult females, who would spend a greater amount of time foraging. The two herds were separated by roughly 2 km in a lightly forested savanna biome. There were 20-40 individuals in each herd. Each herd consisted entirely of mothers and fawns with a single alpha male among the herd. Random individuals within the herds were selected and their behaviors were recorded from a distance every 15 seconds. Observations on individuals varied in duration from 5-30 minutes. Date, time of day and habitat were also recorded during each observance. Eleven standard behaviors were observed. These behaviors included: foraging, vigilance, nursing, fawn-tending, excretion, interactions with other individuals (notes of the interactions were made), other (notes of their behavior were made), individual became out of view, vocalizations, grooming, and bedding down.