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Land use in semi-free ranging Tonkean macaques Macaca tonkeana depends on environmental conditions: A geo-graphical information system approach

Current Zoology 01/2011;
Source: DOAJ

ABSTRACT Wild animals use their habitat according to ecological pressures such as predation, resource availability or temperature, yet little is known about how individuals use their environment in semi free-ranging conditions. We assessed whether a semi-free ranging group of Tonkean macaques Macaca tonkeana used its wooded parkland in a heterogeneous way. GIS and GPS were used to determine whether individuals adjusted their behaviors according to variation in environmental constraints over time of day and the course of a year. We demonstrated that social and resting activities occurred in high altitude areas and areas with a high density of bushes, whereas the group foraged in areas where the density of bushes and grass was low. In general, the animals used areas exposed to the sun that were not on a slope. Semi-free ranging Tonkean macaques seemed to behave like their wild counterparts in terms of activity budget, land use per activity and thermoregulation [Current Zoology 57 (1): 8–17, 2011].

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