, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 191-206

Home Range Analysis of Perodicticus potto edwardsi and Sciurocheirus cameronensis

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Abstract

Because the spatial arrangements of nocturnal prosimians are often used to indicate their social systems, it is important to assess the reliability of methods used to analyze ranging patterns. We compared methods of home range analysis for 2 species of nocturnal prosimians: central pottos (Perodicticus potto edwardsi) and Cross River Allen’s galagos ({Sciurocheirus cameronensis}). We conducted radio-tracking studies of 10 pottos and 8 galagos from October 1999 – November 2000 in the montane rain forests of southwest Cameroon. We calculated home ranges via minimum convex polygon (MCPs) and kernel analyses. Adult potto home ranges averaged 145.2 ha (MCPs) versus only 28.4 ha via kernel analysis; the difference is statistically significant. The mean home range of galagos is 18.3 ha via MCPs and 2.19 ha via kernel analysis; the difference is statistically significant. Neither MCP nor kernel analyses revealed a sex difference in adult home ranges for pottos and galagos. Kernel analysis gave more reliable estimates of home ranges than the minimum convex polygon method used in many studies of nocturnal prosimians. Minimum convex polygon analysis tended to overestimate the range sizes and to include many areas not traversed by the animal. We compared our findings with those from an earlier study of similar species in Gabon, where little attention was given to the home range analysis, technique. Together with studies of lemur spatial systems they highlight the importance of considering the method of home range analysis when it is to be applied to understanding social systems.