Behaviour 2019
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Implementing network approaches to understand the behavioral ecology of human-wildlife interactions
Krishna Balasubramaniam1, Stefano Kaburu2, Pascal Marty1, Brianne Beisner3, Eliza Bliss-Moreau1, Malgorzata Arlet4, Brenda McCowan1. 1University of California at Davis, Davis, CA, United States; 2University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, , United Kingdom; 3Emory University, Atlanta, GA, United States; 4Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, , Poland

Despite global increase in human-wildlife interactions (HWIs), critical gaps remain in our understanding of the behavioral ecology of HWIs. We implemented a network-approach to understand how animals’ life-history and social behavior influenced spatiotemporal variation in HWIs. For 10 groups of three macaque (Macaca spp) species in (peri)urban environments, we constructed human-interaction networks that linked macaques co-interacting with humans within the same time and space. Pre-network permutations revealed that these networks were non-random. GLMMs revealed that the connectedness of human-interaction networks were positively associated with the connectedness of macaque-macaque social affiliative and proximity networks, but not their grooming networks. Male macaques were more well-connected in human-contact networks than females. In challenging anthropogenic environments, maintaining strong social connections through less time-consuming (than grooming) affiliative behaviors and tolerance, and more exploratory yet less energetically costly life-histories, may influence animals’ motivations to take risks. Our findings have implications for the mitigation of zoonosis and conflict.