International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 415–436 | Cite as

Dispersal patterns in Costa Rican mantled howling monkeys

  • Kenneth E. Glander


Both male and female juveniles disperse in Costa Rican mantled howling monkeys (Alouatta palliata). 79% of the males and 96% of the females leave their natal groups. Males may spend up to 4 years and females up to 1 year as solitaries. Extra-group individuals are faced with only three possibilities, i.e., form a new group by joining another extra-group individual, join an established social group, or remain solitary. Most surviving extra-group individuals join an established social group which contains no kin. Females join with the help of a resident male and once in a group proceed to rise to the alpha position through dyadic interactions. The immigrant female either becomes the alpha female or leaves and tries again in another group. Males challenge the alpha male and either defeat him or remain solitary. Competition with relatives for limited high quality food may be the reason for both sexes leaving their natal groups in howlers. By leaving, the successful immigrants increase their mothers inclusive fitness while suppressing the fitness of nonrelatives instead of remaining natal and competing with relatives for limited food.

Key words

albuatta palliata migration competition bisexual dispersal cost/benefit longterm study 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Baker, R. R. (1978).The Evolutionary Ecology of Animal Migration, Hodder & Stoughton, London.Google Scholar
  2. Clarke, M. R. (1982).Socialization, Infant Mortality and Infant-Nonmother Interactions in Howling Monkeys (Alouatta palliata in Costa Rica. Dissertation, University of California, Davis.Google Scholar
  3. Clarke, M. R. (1983). Infant-killing and infant disappearance following male takeovers in a group of free-ranging howling monkeys (Alouatta palliata) in Costa Rica.Am. J. Primatol. 5: 241–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Clarke, M. R. (1990). Behavioral development and socialization of infants in a free-ranging group of howling monkeys (Alouatta palliata).Folia Primatol. 54: 1–15.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Clarke, M. R., and Glander, K. E. (1981). Adoption of infant howling monkeys (Alouatta palliata).Am. J. Primatol. 1: 469–472.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Clarke, M. R., and Glander, K. E. (1984). Female reproductive success in a group of free-ranging howling monkeys (Alouatta palliata) in Costa Rica. In Small, M. (ed.),Female Primate: Studies by Women Primatologists, Alan R. Liss, New York, pp. 111–126.Google Scholar
  7. Clarke, M. R., Zucker, E. L., and Scott, N. J., Jr. (1986). Population trends of the mantled howler groups of La Pacifica, Guanacaste, Costa Rica.Am. J. Primatol. 11: 79–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Clutton-Brock, T. H. (1989). Female transfer and inbreeding avoidance in social mammals.Nature 337: 70–71.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Crockett, C. M. (1984). Emigration by female red howler monkeys and the case for female competition. In Small, M. F. (ed.),Female Primates: Studies by Women Primatologists, Alan R. Liss, New York, pp. 159–173.Google Scholar
  10. Crockett, C. M., and Eisenberg, J. F. (1987). Howlers: Variations in group size and demography. In Smuts, B. B., Cheney, D. L., Seyfarth, R. M., Wrangham, R. W., and Struhsaker, T. T. (eds.),Primate Societies, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 54–68.Google Scholar
  11. Crockett, C. M. and Pope, T. B. (1988). Inferring Patterns of aggression from red howler monkey injuries.Am. J. Primatol. 14: 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Crockett, C. M. and Pope, T. R. (1993). The consequences of sex differences in dispersal for survival and behavior of juvenile red howler monkeys. In Pereira, M. E., and Fairbanks, L. (eds.),Juvenile Primate: Tactics of Social Behvior, Oxford University Press, New York (in press).Google Scholar
  13. Darling, F. F. (1937).A Herd of Red Deer, Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  14. Dawson, G. A. (1978). Composition and stability of social groups of the tamarin,Saguinus oedipus geoffroyi, in Panama: Ecological and behavioral implications In Klieiman, D. G. (ed.),The Biology and Conservation of the Callitrichidae, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. pp.23–37.Google Scholar
  15. Dobson, F. S. (1982). Competition for mates and predominant juvenile male dispersal in mammals.Anim. Behav. 30: 1183–1192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Estrada, A. (1982). Survey and census of howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata) in the rain forest of “Los Tuxtlas,” Veracruz, Mexico.Am. J. Primatol. 2: 363–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fedigan, L. M., Fedigan, L., and Chapman, C. (1985). A census ofAlouatta palliata andCebus capusinus monkeys in Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica,Brenesia 23: 309–322.Google Scholar
  18. Glander, K. E. (1979). Reproduction and population growth in free-ranging mantled howling monkeys.Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 53: 25–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Glander, K. E. (1982). Feeding patterns in mantled howling monkeys. In Kamil, A., and Sargent, T. D. (eds.),Foraging Behavior: Ecological, Ethological, and Psychological Approaches, New York, Garland Press, pp. 231–259.Google Scholar
  20. Glander, K. E. (1982). The impact of plant secondary compounds on primate feeding behavior.Yrbk. Phys. Anthropol. 25: 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Glander, K. E. Fedigan, L. M., Fedigan, L., and Chapman, C. (1991). Capture techniques for three species of monkeys in Costa Rica.Folia Primatol. 57: 70–82.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Greenwood, P. J. (1980). Mating systems, philopatry and dispersal in birds and mammals.Anim. Behav. 28: 1140–1162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Greenwood, P. J. and Harvey, P. H. (1976). The adaptive significance of variation in breeding area fidelity of the blackbird (Turdus merula L).J. Anim. Ecol. 45: 887–898.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Holdridge, L. R. (1967).Life Zone Ecology, Tropical Research Center, San Jose, Costa Rica.Google Scholar
  25. Hamilton, W. D. (1964). The genetical evolution of social behavior.J. Theoret. Biol. 7: 1–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Harcourt, A. H., Stewart, K. S. and Fossy, D. (1976). Male emigration and female transfer in wild mountain gorilla.Nature 263: 226–227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Howard, W. E. (1960). Innate and environmental dispersal of individual vertebrates.Am. Mid. Nat., 63: 152–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Itani, J. (1972). A preliminary essay on the relationship between social organization and incest avoidance in nonhuman primates. In Poirier, F. E. (ed.),Primate Socialization, Random House, New York, pp. 165–171.Google Scholar
  29. Jones, C. B. (1980a). The functions of status in the mantled howler monkey (Alouatta palliata) Gray: Instraspecific competition for group membership in a folivorous neotropical primate.Primates 21: 389–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Jones, C. B. (1980b). Seasonal parturition, mortality and dispersal in the mantled howler monkey,Alouatta palliata Gray.Brenesia 1: 1–10.Google Scholar
  31. Lidicker, W. Z., Jr. (1962). Emigration as a possible mechanism permitting the regulation of population density below carrying capacity.Am. Nat. 96: 23–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lidicker, W. Z., Jr. (1975). The role of dispersal in the demography of small mammals. InSmall Mammals: Productivity and Dynamics of Populations, Petruseqicz, K., Golley, E. B., Ryszkowski, L. (eds.), Cambridge University Press, London, pp. 103–128.Google Scholar
  33. Melnick, D. J., and Pearl, M. C. (1987). Cercopithecines in multimale groups: Genetic diversity and population structure. In Smuts, B. B., Cheney, D. L., Seyfarth, R. M., Wrangham, R. W., and Struhsaker, T. T. (eds.),Primate Societies, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 121–134.Google Scholar
  34. Milton, K. (1982). Dietary quality and demographic regulation in a howler monkey population. In Rand, A. S., and Windsor, D. M. (eds.),The Ecology of the Tropical Forest, Seasonal Rhythms and Long-Term Change, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D. C., pp. 273–289.Google Scholar
  35. Moore, J., and Ali, R. (1984). Are dispersal and inbreeding avoidance related?Anim. Behav. 32: 94–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Neyman, P. F. (1978). Aspects of the ecology and social organization of free-ranging cottontop tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) and the conservation status of the species. Klieman, D. G. (ed.),The Biology and Conservation of the Callitrichidae, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D. C. (in press).Google Scholar
  37. Packer, C. (1979). Inter-troop transfer and inbreeding avoidance inPapio anubis.Animal. Behav. 27: 1–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Pope, T. R. (1989).The Influence of Mating System and Dispersal Patterns on the Genetic Structure of Red Howler Monkey Populations, Ph.D. dissertation, University of Florida, Gainesville.Google Scholar
  39. Pope, T. R. (1990). The reproductive consequences of male cooperation in the red howler monkey: Paternity exclusion in multi-male and single-male troops using genetic markers.Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 27: 439–446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Pusey, A. E. (1987). Sex-biased dispersal and inbreeding avoidance in birds and mammals.Tree 2: 295–299.Google Scholar
  41. Pusey, A. E., and Packer, C. (1987). Dispersal and philopatry. In Smuts, B. B. Cheney, D. L., Seyfarth, R. M., Struhsaker, T. T. and Wrangham, R. W., (eds.), University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 250–266.Google Scholar
  42. Rudran, R. (1979). The demography and social mobility of a red howler (Alouatta seniculus) population in Venezuela. In Eisenberg, J. F. (eds.),Vertebrate Ecology in the Northern Neotropics, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D. C., pp. 107–126.Google Scholar
  43. Rumiz, D. I. (1990).Alouatta caraya: Population density and demography in northern Argentina.Am. J. Primatol. 21: 279–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Scott, N. J., Jr., Malmgren, L., and Glander, K. E. (1978). Grouping behavior and sex ratio in mantled howling monkeys. InProceedings of the Sixth International Congress of the International Primatological Society, Academic Press, New York, pp. 183–185.Google Scholar
  45. Sekulic, R. (1982). Behavior and ranging patterns of a solitary female red howler (Alouatta seniculus).Folia Primatol. 38: 217–232.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Sigg, H., Stolba, A., Abegglen, J. J., and Dasser, V. (1982). Life history of hamadryas baboons: Physical development, infant mortality, reproductive parameters, and family relationships.Primates 23: 473–487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Stewart, K. J., and Harcourt, A. H. (1987). Gorillas: Variation in female relationships. In Smuts, B. B., Cheney, D. L., Seyfarth, R. M., Wrangham, R. W., and Struhsaker, T. T. (eds.),Primates Societies, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 155–164.Google Scholar
  48. Strier, K. B. (1990). New World primates, new frontiers: Insights from the woolly spider monkey, or muriqui (Brachyteles arachnoides).Int. J. Primatol. 11: 7–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Symington, M. M. (1990). Fission-fusion social organization inAteles andPan.Int. J. Primatol. 11: 47–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Tenaza, R. R. (1975). Territory and monogamy among Kloss' gibbons (Hylobates klossii) in Siberut Island, Indonesia.Folia Primatol. 24: 68–80.Google Scholar
  51. Tilson, R. L. (1981). Family formation strategies of Kloss's gibbons,Folia Primatol. 35: 259–287.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Waser, P., and Jones, W. T. (1983). Natal philopatry among solitary mammals.Q. Rev. Biol. 58: 355–390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Watts, D. P. (1990). Ecology of gorillas and its relation to female transfer in mountain gorillas.Int. J. Primatol. 11: 21–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Wilson, E. O. (1975).Sociobiology: the New Synthesis, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
  55. Wrangham, R. W. (1980). An ecological model of female-bonded primate groups.Behaviour 75: 262–300.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth E. Glander
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological Anthropology & AnatomyDuke UniversityDurham

Personalised recommendations