, Volume 57, Issue 6, pp 525-535
Date: 14 Jan 2005

Bisexually bonded ranging in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus)

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While male mammals seek to maximize access to potential mates, females maximize feeding efficiency. Ranging patterns are therefore often sex specific. Sex-specific ranging patterns have also been reported for East African chimpanzees and a recent study on female ranging patterns concludes that social organization is best described by a male-bonded community model, where females occupy individual home ranges that are distributed within the boundaries of the male-defended range. In West African chimpanzees, however, such sex-specific ranging patterns have not been consistently observed and a bisexually bonded community model, where both sexes use the entire home range equally, has been suggested to best describe social organization. In this study we analyze 5 years of data on individual ranging patterns of chimpanzees in the Taï National Park (Côte d’Ivoire) to test specific predictions of the different models of chimpanzee social organization. We found that although males in Taï had slightly larger home ranges than females, all individual home ranges and core areas overlapped highly. Small individual home range size differences were entirely due to the use of peripheral areas and were correlated with female social dominance. These findings strongly support the bisexually bonded community model for Taï chimpanzees. Thus, we conclude that there are fundamental differences in the space-use patterns of East and West African chimpanzees and discuss possible factors leading to such differences.

Communicated by D. Watts