, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 33-47

Reproductive parameters of female Japanese macaques: Thirty years data from the arashiyama troops, Japan

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Over a 30-year period from 1954 to 1983, 975 live births were recorded for Japanese macaque females at the Iwatayama Monkey Park, Arashiyama, Japan. Excluding unknown birth dates, primiparous mothers gave birth to 185 infants (182 cases with age of mother known) and multiparous mothers gave birth to 723 infants (603 cases with age of mother known). The peak month of birth was May with 52.3% of the total births occurring during the period. Multiparous females who had not given birth the previous year did so earlier than multiparous females who had given birth the previous year and also earlier than primiparous females. Among the females who had given birth the previous year, females whose infant had died gave birth earlier than females who had reared an infant the previous year. The offspring sex ratio (1:0.97) was not significantly different from 1:1, and revealed no consistent association with mother's age. Age-fecundity exhibited a humped curve. The annual birth rate was low at the age of 4 years but increased thereafter, ranging between 46.7% and 69.0%, at between 5 and 19 years of age, but again decreased for females between 20 and 25 years of age. Some old females displayed clear reproductive senescence. The infant mortality within the first year of age was quite low (10.3%) and the neonatal (less than 1 month old) mortality rate accounted for 49.0% of all infant deaths. There was no significant difference between the mortality rates of male and female infants. A female's rank-class had no apparent effect on the annual birth rate, infant mortality, and offspring sex ratio. These long-term data are compared with those from other primate populations.