Using path analysis to explore vigilance behavior in the rock hyrax (Procavia capensis)

Kerry V. Fanson, Benjamin G. Fanson, Joel S. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Group size and vigilance are tools that animals can use to mitigate predation risk, and many studies have reported a negative relationship between them. Vigilance studies often investigate the direct effect of group size on vigilance, but they ignore the effect of ecological factors on group size. As a consequence, these studies can overlook important indirect effects of ecological factors on vigilance via group size. We investigated how ecological factors affect vigilance behavior in rock hyraxes (Procavia capensis), both directly and indirectly via group size. First, we showed a direct negative relationship between group size and vigilance behavior by measuring vigilance behavior before and after a change in group size. Second, we conducted a path analysis that included group size and several ecological factors (distance from shelter, distance from center of kopje, vegetation cover, and time since start of foraging session). Similar to the 1st analysis, the path analysis identified a strong negative relationship between group size and vigilance behavior; however, the other variables had little effect on group size or vigilance behavior, or both.

LanguageEnglish
Pages78-85
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Mammalogy
Volume92
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2011

Fingerprint

Hyraxes
Procavia
Procaviidae
vigilance
path analysis
group size
rocks
rock
antipredatory behavior
predation risk
vegetation cover
shelter

Keywords

  • group size
  • predation risk
  • structural equation modeling

Cite this

Fanson, Kerry V. ; Fanson, Benjamin G. ; Brown, Joel S. / Using path analysis to explore vigilance behavior in the rock hyrax (Procavia capensis). In: Journal of Mammalogy. 2011 ; Vol. 92, No. 1. pp. 78-85.
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Using path analysis to explore vigilance behavior in the rock hyrax (Procavia capensis). / Fanson, Kerry V.; Fanson, Benjamin G.; Brown, Joel S.

In: Journal of Mammalogy, Vol. 92, No. 1, 16.02.2011, p. 78-85.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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