, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 85-106

Male Migration in Barbary Macaques (Macaca sylvanus) at Affenberg Salem

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Abstract

We analyzed male migration during a 20-year period in the free-ranging Barbary macaque population of Affenberg Salem. Most natal migrations occurred around puberty, but only one third of all males left the natal group. Secondary group transfers were rare. All males immediately transferred to other bisexual groups. Migration rates were highest during periods with high adult female/male ratios within social groups. Immigrants highly preferred groups with fewer males of their own age than in the natal group, and many males immigrated into groups that had no male their own age. These groups originated from a skewed distribution of resident males during group fissions. A comparison of emigrants with their natal peers supports the inbreeding avoidance hypothesis as cause of emigration rather than the male competition avoidance hypothesis. Emigrants had no lower individual rank position and did not come from lower-ranking matrilines. Emigrants had more female maternal relatives, especially sisters. Males without female relatives almost never emigrated. Conversely, there is virtually no indication that emigrants were evicted from the natal group. Emigrants had no increased mortality. Paternity data revealed that the reproductive success of emigrants and natal males is similar, indicating that emigration had no reproductive cost. Many similarities between emigrants and natal males that separated from female maternal kin during group fissions suggest that inner migration during fissions is an alternative way to avoid maternal inbreeding. The mating system resulted in a genetic structure within social groups that largely diminished the chances for paternal inbreeding even without recognizing paternal kin.