Have you herd? Bighorn sheep pass on useful tips

Scientists who tracked collared animals found that social learning of migration routes was better down the generations
Young watch the old
The researchers didn’t study how the knowledge is passed along within the herds, but it’s probably from young animals watching their mothers or other herd members, said the study’s lead author, Brett Jesmer of the University of Wyoming.
The long, slow improvement in forage-finding over decades indicates that herds build on the cultural knowledge across generations. A slow curve also showed up in the likelihood that animals would migrate in the spring.Results indicate that within herds that had first entered their home range even 30 to 50 years before, only about a quarter of the tracked animals on average migrated. But almost all the animals migrated if they came from herds that had occupied their home for 200 years or so.
Such social learning of migration routes also appears to happen with cranes and geese, but not other birds, said Cornell University ornithologist Kevin McGowan, who didn’t participate in the study. The researchers said the study has implications for conservation. When a migration corridor is blocked, such as by construction of a highway, it can take decades for herds of big game animals to establish a new route. So it’s important to identify such corridors and protect them.
Source :  https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-life/have-you-herd-bighorn-sheep-pass-on-useful-tips/article24898101.ece

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