, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 353-365
Date: 27 Feb 2009

Sleeping Site Use by Trachypithecus francoisi at Nonggang Nature Reserve, China

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Abstract

We collected data on sleeping site use of the François’ langur (Trachypithecus francoisi) between August 2003 and July 2004 at Nonggang Nature Reserve, China. We tested hypotheses regarding possible ultimate causes of sleeping site selection in light of our results. Langurs selected the ledges and caves on cliffs as sleeping sites. Of 23 identified sleeping sites, 7 were more frequently used than the others (≥9 times each, accounting for 64% of total observed nights). Langurs used most sleeping sites repeatedly, and reused some of them on consecutive nights; 4 consecutive nights were the longest run. We suggest that langurs choose sleeping sites to make approach and attack difficult by predators, and to increase familiarity so as to improve chances for escape. Langurs’ cryptic behaviors before entering sleeping sites and the rapid movement toward sleeping sites (4 min on average) with an increased level of vigilance may help to decrease the possibility of detection by predators. Access to food appears to have a profound influence on sleeping site selection in François’ langurs, as demonstrated by the langurs’ tendency to select sleeping sites close to their current main feeding sites. The position of sleeping site relative to the last feeding site of the day and the first feeding site of the subsequent morning indicated a strategy closer to that of a multiple central place forager than of a central place forager. Our results do not support the influences of other factors, e.g., avoidance of parasites, seeking comfort, and range or resource defense, on sleeping site selection.