, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 117-121
Date: 27 Jul 2006

Female transfer between one-male groups of proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus)

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Abstract

Successful or unsuccessful female transfers were observed seven times during a 32-month field study of proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus) inhabiting a riverine forest along a tributary of the Kinabatangan River, Sabah, Malaysia. In all cases, the females voluntarily left their own groups and immediately joined with another one. When adult females tried to shift to other groups, adult males called them back to their own groups, but appeared to be indifferent to subadult females. When the adult females returned, the males never attacked the females physically, but instead often emitted herding sounds to them. One subadult female was repelled by a resident adult female. When one adult female transferred into a new one-male group, she left her behind son in an all-male group. The number of females often fluctuated in most study groups, with this fluctuation being more prominent among subadult females than adult females. It is likely that female transfer in proboscis monkeys is not a rare occurrence and that it is especially common among sub-adult females.