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

Current Zoology (Impact Factor: 1.59). 02/2011; 57(1):8-17.

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.

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    • "Despite these semi-free ranging conditions, animals spend more than a third of their time foraging and searching for food (pellets provided within the indoor housing, as well as natural fruits, leaves and buds in their captive environment; see [33]). They also adjust their behaviour according to variation in environmental constraints throughout the day and in the course of a year [33], [34]. We first studied whether animals displayed differences in their activity budget, as already shown in several other primate species. "
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