Animal culture and conservation: new paper in @royalsociety #proceedingsb https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rspb.2020.2718 we suggest insights into social learning & animal #culture could improve conservation. our arguments broken down here 1/n pic: @DepthNZ under @docgovtnz permit #animalculturesmatter
Animals learn things from each other, sometimes leading to different groups using different habitats and prey. To preserve the whole population, it’s important to understand and protect these different requirements 2/n
Sometimes these differences mean the groups are actually on the paths to becoming different populations or species, so behaviour can be a marker to help identify groups to conserve. Nice review of this in https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-10293-y 3/n
The reach of gene–culture coevolution in animals
The reciprocal interaction between genetic and cultural evolution is well recognised in humans. Here, Whitehead and colleagues review the growing body of evidence that culture is also a major driver...https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-10293-y
Social learning spread new ideas thru a population or group, e.g., taking advantage of a new resource, like birds learning to open milk bottles, so it’s important to preserve networks that help animals pass on knowledge, or knowledge repositories e.g., elephant matriarchs 4/n
Sometimes these behaviours increase survival and how many babies animals have, e.g., sponging dolphins fared better in a recent heatwave https://www.cell.com/current-biology/pdf/S0960-9822(19)30217-9.pdf 5/n
Our paper proposes a way for current conservation measures to include assessments of social learning and culture, in many cases it could be done using existing data. This is already being done by @BonnConvention and other orgs! Thanks if you got to this tweet....