Inter-individual Distance in Different Captive Packs of Iberian Wolf (Canis lupus signatus): Management Applications

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
Ana Isabel Soriano, Dolors Vinyoles, Carmen Maté
Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
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There is a tendency for the wolves of a pack to stay together assuming that there is a social bond between the pack members. A rough estimate of the strength of this bond can be obtained by measuring the distances between pack members. The aim of this study was to determine the inter-individual distance by calculating the Euclidian distance to determine the Iberian wolf cohesion in different pack compositions. The study subjects were seven captive Iberian wolves (Canis lupus signatus) housed at the Barcelona Zoo. Multifocal sampling methods were used for data collection, and instantaneous scans were made at 15-min during different sessions. Proximity relationships among these wolves in different pack composition were visualized using two-dimensional scaling analysis. The pair leader without offspring and the breeding pair with their offspring were significantly closer than the rest of the dyads which combinations were equidistant. During the pregnancy period, the breeding pair was significantly further than during the juvenile period. More studies in field and captivity by using Euclidian distance are necessary to improve social husbandry techniques, animal welfare and conservation programs.


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