Benefits of grouping and cooperative hunting among ache hunter-gatherers: Insights from an agent-based foraging model

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

We develop an agent-based model of foraging behavior based on ecological parameters of the environment and prey characteristics measured in the Mbaracayu Reserve Paraguay. We then compare estimated foraging behavior from our model to the ethnographically observed behavior of Ache hunter-gatherers who inhabit the region and show a close match for daily harvest rates, time allocation, and species composition of prey. The model allows us to explore the implications of social living, cooperative hunting, variation in group size and mobility, under Ache-like ecological conditions. Simulations show that social living decreases daily risk of no food, but cooperative hunting has only a modest effect on mean harvest rates. Analysis demonstrates that bands should contain 7-8 hunters who move nearly every day in order to achieve the best combination of average harvest rates and low probability of no meat in camp.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)823-835
Number of pages13
JournalHuman Ecology
Volume42
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Agent-based modeling
  • Optimal foraging theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Ecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Benefits of grouping and cooperative hunting among ache hunter-gatherers: Insights from an agent-based foraging model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this