• Animal Social Network Theory Can Help Wildlife Conservation

      Snijders, Lysanne; Blumstein, Daniel; Franks, Daniel Wayne; Stanley, Christina R.; University of Chester; Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Berlin; Wageningen University & Research; University of California; University of York (Elsevier, 2017-06-22)
      Many animals preferentially associate with certain other individuals. This social structuring can influence how populations respond to changes to their environment, thus making network analysis a promising technique for understanding, predicting and potentially manipulating population dynamics. Various network statistics can correlate with individual fitness components and key population-level processes, yet the logical role and formal application of animal social network theory for conservation and management have not been well articulated. We outline how understanding of direct and indirect relationships between animals can be profitably applied by wildlife managers and conservationists. By doing so, we aim to stimulate the development and implementation of practical tools for wildlife conservation and management and to inspire novel behavioral research in this field.