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Proximity to humans affects local social structure in a giraffe metapopulation

Experimental laboratory evidence suggests that animals with disrupted social systems express weakened relationship strengths and have more exclusive social associations, and that these changes have functional consequences. A key question is whether anthropogenic pressures have a similar impact on the social structure of wild animal communities. We addressed this question by constructing a social network from 6 years of systematically collected photographic capture–recapture data spanning 1,139 individual adult female Masai giraffes inhabiting a large, unfenced, heterogeneous landscape in northern Tanzania.

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