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.


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.

Download full-text


Available from: Cédric Sueur
  • Source
    • "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. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Animals adapt their movement patterns to their environment in order to maximize their efficiency when searching for food. The Lévy walk and the Brownian walk are two types of random movement found in different species. Studies have shown that these random movements can switch from a Brownian to a Lévy walk according to the size distribution of food patches. However no study to date has analysed how characteristics such as sex, age, dominance or body mass affect the movement patterns of an individual. In this study we used the maximum likelihood method to examine the nature of the distribution of step lengths and waiting times and assessed how these distributions are influenced by the age and the sex of group members in a semi free-ranging group of ten Tonkean macaques. Individuals highly differed in their activity budget and in their movement patterns. We found an effect of age and sex of individuals on the power distribution of their step lengths and of their waiting times. The males and old individuals displayed a higher proportion of longer trajectories than females and young ones. As regards waiting times, females and old individuals displayed higher rates of long stationary periods than males and young individuals. These movement patterns resembling random walks can probably be explained by the animals moving from one location to other known locations. The power distribution of step lengths might be due to a power distribution of food patches in the enclosure while the power distribution of waiting times might be due to the power distribution of the patch sizes.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2011 · PLoS ONE
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The influence of particular individuals on others opinions and behaviours has long been studied by social and political scientists, and it is often suggested that certain individuals can act as leaders because they are socially connected, and have more 'influence' over others. However, this idea is difficult to test in a real-world (human or non-human) setting. Here, we present a study that describes the collective movements of two primate species: Macaca tonkeana and Macaca mulatta faced with the decision of when to stop resting and start foraging. We show that individuals that are central to the group's social network elicit stronger follower behaviour and are crucial to the achievement of consensus decisions. This 'embedded' leader-follower dynamic improves the efficiency of the decision-making process, enabling faster decision times. Our data additionally suggest that a behavioural rule-of-thumb 'follow my close affiliate' can result in the most central individual leading decisions by virtue of the scale-free properties of the network. This may allow groups to utilise the knowledge of elder, dominant, or natal individuals (who are often central in social networks) whilst simultaneously maintaining bonds with highly social individuals which may bring indirect fitness benefits itself.
    Full-text · Chapter · Sep 2012
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: After World War II, primate studies began on Japanese macaques and artificial provisioning facilitated short-distance observation. During these early stages of primate field research, this method allowed for individual recognition and long-term studies whereby individual and social behaviors could be described in detail and, ultimately, social structure. Owing primarily to provisioning, monkeys and apes were able to innovate some cultural behaviors. However, provisioning influences the behavior of animals. Artificially fed primate populations in Japan grew rapidly and social relationships among individuals changed. After the 1980s, scientific reports tended to not mention the incidence of provisioning in descriptions of the environment. Such omissions could inadvertently lead to misleading interpretations of the data. Therefore, authors must describe the provisioning situation as an important element of the environment. Even in the early stages of the primate studies, it should have been noted that provisioning was an experimental method and was partly an artificial living condition applied to wild populations of animals, which could have both positive and negative outcomes. In this paper I defined the terms wild, provisioning, free-ranging and habituation in appropriate words.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Mammalia