Mixed support for state maintaining risky personality traits in yellow-bellied marmots

In a variety of taxa, individuals behave in consistently different ways. However, there are relatively few studies that empirically test the potential mechanisms underlying the causes and maintenance of these personality differences. Several hypotheses for the causes and maintenance of risky personality traits have been suggested but all have received mixed support. Both the pace-of-life […]

Do individual differences influence flight initiation distance?

Flight initiation distance (FID), or the distance between a prey animal and an approaching intruder when the prey initiates its escape, is an important factor in wildlife management. We conducted a study on individually identified yellow-bellied marmots (Marmota flaviventris) to test 3 key assumptions of FID research: (1) differences in individual responses are small enough […]

Development of boldness and docility in yellow-bellied marmots

Personality traits are important because they can affect individual survival as well as how a population may respond to environmental change. How these traits arise, whether they are maintained throughout ontogeny, and how environmental factors differentially affect them throughout life is poorly understood. Understanding these pathways is important for determining the function and evolution of […]

Fitness and hormonal correlates of social and ecological stressors of female yellow-bellied marmots

The effects of social and ecological stressors on female reproductive success vary among species and, in mammals, previous reviews have identified no clear patterns. However, few studies have simultaneously examined the relation between social rank and stressors and the relationships among rank, stressors and reproductive success. We used a long-term data set to study free-living […]

Social security: are socially connected individuals less vigilant?

Group size effects, whereby animals allocate less time to antipredator vigilance as a function of increasing numbers of animals foraging together, are reported in many taxa, but group size is but one of many social attributes that could increase an individual’s perception of predation risk or what might be referred to as a ‘sense of […]