Orient, E., Guillén-Salazar, F. 2021. The effects of alpha male removal on the social behavior of a group of olive baboons (Papio anubis). Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science 24(4), 424-433.
In captivity, the managers of primate populations have removed individuals from their groups for medical and social reasons, but there has been little documentation regarding the consequences of this extraction on the sociality of the remaining individuals. This study provides information about the social effect of the alpha male removal in a group of olive baboons (Papio anubis) maintained at the Station of Primatology of CNRS (France). Data on social behavior was collected before and after male removal and then compared. Moreover, this social information was used to calculate the individual dominance index and the group dominance ranking. Overall, our results indicate that females seem to respond to male removal showing a more affiliative and tolerant behavior. However, the results also highlight the different coping mechanisms of females with this new social context. Therefore, this information could be useful for managers of primate populations, allowing them to anticipate the response of captive groups when facing certain sociodemographic changes. In this regard, we recommended creating a detailed procedure before the removal of the individuals that considers the characteristics of the individuals.