, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 359-373

Troop Histories and Range Inertia of Lemur catta at Berenty, Madagascar: A 33-year Perspective

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Abstract

Lemur catta troops in a 1-km 2 study area at Berenty Reserve have maintained fidelity to core areas since Budnitz and Dainis' study of 1972–1973, and for two troops possibly since 1963. Population in 1 km 2 fluctuated from 155 to 105 to 282 individuals (excluding infants), and the number of troops increased from 12 to 21. Most troops retain the same core areas from year to year (170 observed troop-years). Ten troops derived from known fissions have settled in parts of their parent troop range or an adjacent neighbor's range. Five more troops may derive from similar matrilocal fissioning, inferred from behavior and ranging patterns. One has remained unchanged. Five have unknown parentage, in the ranges of four previously censused troops. Once a fissioned troop completely replaced another, one troop permanently extended its range, three times females joined a different troop, once a female remained nomadic for two years without stable home range. No fissioned troop has been seen to leapfrog others: to settle discontiuously from its parent. Intertroop antagonism may reflect benefits of long-term core area control.