Janice Chism, Ph.D.




College of Arts and Sciences




In the wild, hamadryas baboons (Papio hamadryas hamadryas) typically practice male philopatry, where females transfer out of natal units to avoid inbreeding (Swedell et al. 2011). However, little is known about hamadryas female transfer in captivity. In this study, we used focal animal sampling (Altmann 1974) to observe female transfer in a captive group comprised of two one-male units. The group includes a subadult female, whom we expected to transfer to the non-natal unit soon after reaching sexual maturity. We recorded the proximity between the subadult female and all other individuals, as well as affiliative and agonistic behavior exhibited between them. Although the size of the enclosure forces all individuals to be closer to each other than they may be in the wild, we hypothesized that the female would act in accordance with wild populations in transferring out of her natal group and practicing inbreeding avoidance (Swedell et al. 2011). Preliminary results show that at this time, the subadult female is still spending, on average, a greater percent of her time with her natal unit than with the non-natal unit. However, data collection needs to be continued for a longer period of time to determine whether or not a trend in proximity or behavior is present.