Alarm calls of Belding's ground squirrels to aerial predators: nepotism or self-preservation?

@article{Sherman2004AlarmCO,
  title={Alarm calls of Belding's ground squirrels to aerial predators: nepotism or self-preservation?},
  author={Paul W. Sherman},
  journal={Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology},
  year={2004},
  volume={17},
  pages={313-323}
}
  • P. Sherman
  • Published 1 October 1985
  • Environmental Science
  • Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
SummaryBelding's ground squirrels (Spermophilus beldingi) give acoustically distinct alarm calls to aerial and terrestrial predators. The animals typically give multiple-note trills to predatory mammals, and single-note whistles to flying hawks. During a 9-year study of free-living S. beldingi at Tioga Pass, California, the adaptive significance of the whistle call was investigated. Data were gathered on 664 ground squirrel-hawk interactions, most of which were induced by flying trained raptors… 
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References

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The Meaning of Nepotism
TLDR
Results led me to suggest that alarm calls in this species represent nepotism because they are manifestations of "favoritism shown nephews and other relatives" as well as prediction of the results of reproductive competition among individuals is concerned.
Antipredator behaviour and predator recognition in Belding's ground squirrels
Alarm calling behavior of the thirteen-lined ground squirrel, Spermophilus tridecemlineatus
  • P. Schwagmeyer
  • Environmental Science
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
  • 2004
TLDR
Alarm calling behavior in S. tridecemlineatus appeared to be dependent upon the presence of newly emerged juvenile relatives, and females were likely to have adult relatives relatives residing within audible range of the call.
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  • K. Holekamp
  • Environmental Science
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
  • 2004
TLDR
If dispersal is related to reproductive success, then dispersal distances selected for use in tests of evolutionary hypotheses should be measured just prior to the subject animals' first reproduction, which suggests that dispersal in S. beldingi may function to minimize nuclear family incest.
Ground Squirrel Alarm Calls: Nepotism or Parental Care?
Recently, Sherman (1977) and Dunford (1977) independently reached the conclusion that the alarm calling of two ground squirrel species (Spermophilus beldingi and S. tereticaudus) was altruistic
Responses of pikas (Ochotona princeps, Lagomorpha) to naturally occurring terrestrial predators
TLDR
Weasels were determined to be more effective predators of pikas than martens, and these asymmetries in behavior and alarm vocalizations may indicate that responses reduce an individual's risk of predaton by weasels.
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TLDR
Sexual asymmetries in the demographic characteristics of S. beldingi appear to result from the animals' polygynous breeding system.
Nepotism and alarm calling in the black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus)
THE ADAPTIVE SIGNIFICANCE OF ALARM CALLS GIVEN BY SHOREBIRDS ON THEIR WINTER FEEDING GROUNDS
TLDR
In many winter flocks, including those formed by shorebirds, the birds are likely to be only distantly related, and 'alarmism' could only be maintained as a result of kin selection if the disadvantage of calling were extremely small.
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