ABS 2022
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Effect of Situation-Specific Social Structure on Network Change Following a Multiple-Mortality Event
Kaija Gahm, Noa Pinter-Wollman. University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, United States

Death or dispersal of social animals may affect the structure of their social groups directly (loss of individuals) or indirectly (changed relationships). Individuals' positions may differ across situations; for example, a central individual in a grooming situation might be less central in an agonistic situation. These differences may buffer the effect of node loss on the overall social structure. To investigate how situation-specific social structures affect network recovery after a loss, I will use social network analysis to examine an agent-based model of griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus). These vultures interact in distinct social situations (e.g., roosting, feeding, and flight) and face mortality from poisoned carrion. A single poisoning event may kill several vultures in a short period. Prior research has examined the consequences of removing a single node, but the question of how clustered, simultaneous deaths affect animal social structure is unexplored. My findings will have implications for vulture conservation and for the study of social behavior more broadly, with particular significance for endangered species or those subject to frequent anthropogenic mortality events.