, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 625-642,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 21 Jul 2009

Social Relationships in Free-Ranging Male Macaca arctoides


Macaque social relationships differ greatly between species. Based on captive studies that focus mainly on females, researchers have classified stumptail macaque (Macaca arctoides) social relationships as tolerant, as indicated by a high rate of affiliation, frequent aggression, and symmetrical conflicts. To accumulate more data on male social relationships, which are relatively understudied, and to generate comparative data, we investigated male social relationships in a provisioned group of 68 free-ranging, naturally dispersing stumptail macaques in southern Thailand. We collected continuous focal animal and ad libitum data on 7 adult and 2 subadult males, recording social behavior during 283 contact hours between December 2006 and March 2007. Stumptail macaques of this population were less tolerant than predicted based on previous studies on captive groups: Rates of spatial proximity, affiliation, and aggression were low, most males directed affiliative behavior toward higher-ranking males, and conflicts were generally of low intensity and relatively asymmetrical. Thus, male stumptail macaques of the focal group appear to differ in their social style from a previous study of a captive group that mainly comprised of females. In some traits, they are even more intolerant than rhesus macaques, an intensively studied intolerant macaque species. We also compare our data on stumptail macaque males to those on other male macaques, but available data are too sparse to draw final conclusions.