The effect of personality on social information use in captive and wild barnacle geese (#180)
Social information use is known to affect various important aspects of an individual’s ecology, such as foraging, dispersal and space use. One aspect of social information use that is still relatively poorly understood is the role of animal personality in social information use. Here we will study this link between personality and social information use in captive and wild populations of Barnacle geese. We will show that, in captivity, personality was an important predictor of whether or not geese used social information. In different social contexts, including producer-scrounger games, leader-follower games and public information use, we find that personality was an important predictor of whether or not geese relied on social information. We find that shy individuals primarily rely on social information, whereas bold individuals rely much more on personal information. To investigate the importance of this relationship in the wild, we then caught wild barnacle geese, tested their personality and observed their use of social information in the field.