, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 258–262 | Cite as

The Impact of Health Status on Dispersal Behavior in Banded Mongooses (Mungos mungo)

  • Bonnie M. Fairbanks
  • Dana M. Hawley
  • Kathleen A. Alexander
Short Communication


While disease and injury have obvious impacts on mortality, they can have less understood non-lethal impacts on behavior. These behavioral effects might have a significant consequences for population-level disease dynamics if diseased individuals are more or less likely to disperse. We opportunistically observed dispersal events in banded mongooses (Mungos mungo) that were either healthy or unhealthy due to injury and/or clinical signs of a novel tuberculosis pathogen, Mycobacterium mungi. We found that diseased and/or injured mongooses were significantly less likely to disperse than healthy individuals, suggesting that disease may have an important consequences for dispersal that could in turn affect population-level disease dynamics.


tuberculosis dispersal disease behavior banded mongoose 

Supplementary material

10393_2014_912_MOESM1_ESM.docx (18 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 19 kb)


  1. Adelman JS, Martin LB (2009) Vertebrate sickness behaviors: adaptive and integrated neuroendocrine immune responses. Integrative and Comparative Biology 49:202–214. Accessed 16 May 2012
  2. Alexander KA et al. (2010) Novel Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex Pathogen, M. mungi. Emerg Infect Dis 16:1296–1299.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bansal S, Grenfell BT, Meyers LA (2007) When individual behaviour matters: homogeneous and network models in epidemiology. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 4:879–891. Accessed 29 Oct 2012Google Scholar
  4. Castillo-Chavez C, Yakubu A (2001) Dispersal, disease and life-history evolution. Math Biosci 173:35–53.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Clements GM et al. (2011) Movements of white-tailed deer in riparian habitat: Implications for infectious diseases. J Wildl Manage 75:1436–1442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Clobert J, Le Galliard J-F, Cote J, Meylan S, Massot M (2009) Informed dispersal, heterogeneity in animal dispersal syndromes and the dynamics of spatially structured populations. Ecology Letters 12:197–209. Accessed 29 Feb 2012Google Scholar
  7. Cross PC et al. (2013) Female elk contacts are neither frequency nor density dependent. Ecology 94:2076–2086. Google Scholar
  8. Danchin E, Giraldeau L-A, Valone TJ, Wagner RH (2004) Public information: from nosy neighbors to cultural evolution. Science 305:487–491. Accessed 28 Jan 2013Google Scholar
  9. Drewe JA (2010) Who infects whom? Social networks and tuberculosis transmission in wild meerkats. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 277:633–42. Accessed 3 Nov 2012
  10. Drewe JA, Eames KTD, Madden JR, Pearce GP (2011) Integrating contact network structure into tuberculosis epidemiology in meerkats in South Africa: implications for control. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 101:113–120.
  11. Eraud C, Duriez O, Chastel O, Faivre B (2005) The energetic cost of humoral immunity in the Collared Dove, Streptopelia decaocto: is the magnitude sufficient to force energy-based trade-offs? Funct Ecol 19:110–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fairbanks BM (2013) Bidirectional interactions between behavior and disease in banded mongooses (Mungos mungo) infected with Mycobacterium mungi. Dissertation, Virginia Tech. Blacksburg, VA, p 84Google Scholar
  13. Hawley DM, Davis A, Dhondt AA (2007) Transmission-relevant behaviours shift with pathogen infection in wild house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus). Can J Zool 85:752–757.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ims RA, Hjermann D (2001) Condition-Dependent Dispersal. In: Dispersal, Clobert J, Danchin E, Dhondt A, Nichols J (editors), Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 203-216Google Scholar
  15. Lachish S, Miller K, Storfer A, Goldizen A, Jones M (2011) Evidence that disease-induced population decline changes genetic structure and alters dispersal patterns in the Tasmanian devil. Heredity (Edinb) 106:172–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Pope LC et al. (2007) Genetic evidence that culling increases badger movement: implications for the spread of bovine tuberculosis. Mol Ecol 16:4919–4929.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Rieucau G, Giraldeau L-A (2011) Exploring the costs and benefits of social information use: an appraisal of current experimental evidence. Philos Trans R Soc B 366:949–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Tuyttens F et al. (2009) Spatial Perturbation Caused by a Badger (Meles meles) Culling Operation: Implications for the Function of Territoriality and the Control of Bovine Tuberculosis (Mycobacterium bovis). J Anim Ecol 69:815–828.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Wang W, Mulone G (2003) Threshold of disease transmission in a patch environment. J Math Anal Appl 285:321–335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Weber N, et al. (2013) Denning behaviour of the European badger (Meles meles) correlates with bovine tuberculosis infection status. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 67:471–479. Accessed 26 Dec 2013
  21. Wendland LD et al. (2010) Social behavior drives the dynamics of respiratory disease in threatened tortoises. Ecology 91:1257–62.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© International Association for Ecology and Health 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bonnie M. Fairbanks
    • 1
  • Dana M. Hawley
    • 1
  • Kathleen A. Alexander
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA
  2. 2.Department of Fish and Wildlife ConservationVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA
  3. 3.Center for African Resource: Animals, Communities, and Land use (CARACAL)KasaneBotswana

Personalised recommendations