Original Article


, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 374-382

First online:

Social organization of Sichuan snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus roxellana) in the Qinling Mountains, Central China

  • Peng ZhangAffiliated withPrimate Research Institute, Kyoto UniversityNorthwest University Email author 
  • , Kunio WatanabeAffiliated withPrimate Research Institute, Kyoto University
  • , Baoguo LiAffiliated withNorthwest University
  • , Chia L. TanAffiliated withThe Zoological Society of San Diego

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Sichuan snub-nosed monkeys were observed for 197 days from 2000 to 2003 in the Qinling Mountains, Central China. The study group was provisioned in 2001 allowing detailed observations of social organization based on individual identification. The group was composed of 45–82 monkeys, all of which belonged to one of 6–8 one-male units (OMU) that foraged to form one big group. The average unit size was 9.0±2.3, 8±1.5 in the winter and 11.1±2.0 in the spring. Immigration or emigration of one-male units to or from the foraging group was observed, as was migration of individuals in and out of OMU, especially for by subadult females and juveniles. Group size therefore tended to fluctuate with the number of OMU and the number of young monkeys present in the group. The OMU in the study area were smaller than those in Shennongjia area. The factors influencing the size of these OMU and the entire group are discussed.


Group composition Individual identification Multi-tier social group One-male unit Sichuan snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus roxellana)