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Agricultura Tropica et Subtropica

The Journal of Mendel University in Brno, Czech Republic

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Social Preferences of Translocated Giraffes (Giraffa Camelopardalis Giraffa) in Senegal: Evidence for Friendship Among Females?

Lenka Malyjurkova
  • Department of Animal Sciences and Food Processing, Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Czech Universityof Life Sciences Prague
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/ Marketa Hejzlarova
  • Department of Animal Sciences and Food Processing, Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Czech Universityof Life Sciences Prague
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/ Pavla Junkova Vymyslicka
  • Department of Ecology, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague
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/ Karolina Brandlova
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Animal Sciences and Food Processing, Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Czech Universityof Life Sciences Prague
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Published Online: 2014-05-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/ats-2014-0001


Giraffe social behaviour and relationships are currently in the period of scientific renaissance, changing the former ideas of nonexisting social bonds into understanding of complex social structures of giraffe herds. Different giraffe subspecies have been studied in the wild and only one was subject of detailed study in captivity. Our study focused on the neglected Cape giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis giraffa). We investigated the social preferences of 28 introduced giraffes in semi-captivity in Bandia reserve, Senegal. Our aim was to assess the group size of Cape giraffes outside their native range and describe their social relationships. Mean group size in Bandia was 7.22 ± 4.06 (range 2-17). The dyads were classified according to strength of relationship (weak, medium, strong) using the association index. We reported weak and medium relationships in all types of dyads except female-juvenile. The strongest bond was found in mother-calf dyads. Three of 21 possible female dyads also demonstrated strong relationships. Those three dyads included six of seven adult females, which we labelled as friends. Females associated more frequently with calves of their friends then with calves of non-friend females. The strength of the relationship between calves depended on the strength of relationship between their mothers. We concluded that Cape giraffes in new environment have shown similar group size and nonrandom preference for conspecifics as shown in wild and captive studies. The research was supported by CIGA 20135010, CIGA 2134217, IGA FTZ 20135123, ESF/MŠMT CZ.1.07/2.3.00/30.0040.

Keywords : Giraffa camelopardalis; translocation; female; calf; social bond; fission-fusion system; relationship; friendship; association index


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About the article

Received: 2014-12-17

Accepted: 2014-03-31

Published Online: 2014-05-01

Published in Print: 2014-03-01

Citation Information: Agricultura Tropica et Subtropica, ISSN (Online) 1801-0571, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/ats-2014-0001.

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