Socioecological factors of male chimpanzee migration at Bossou, Guinea
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For more than 21 years a small semi-isolated group of wild chimpanzees have been studied at Bossou, Guinea, west Africa. All individuals have been identified since the beginning of the study. Remaining rates of infants (0–3 yr) and juveniles (4–7 yr) in the group were 64–80% for both sexes, however, those of adolescents (8–11 yr) dropped drastically, particularly for males (14%). As a result, most natal males as well as females disappeared before fully maturing. Two male visitors and an immigrant were observed in the group. More adult males than females disappeared from Bossou. Group males could be excluded as the genetic father of an offspring born in the group. From these demographic trends it is highly likely that some of these males emigrated rather than succumbed to sickness and death. It seems likely that they left on their own by choice. The reason for male dispersal is hypothesized to be influenced by intra-group male-male competition and the habitat ecology and structure of Bossou. There are no competitive adjacent groups or predators to prevent males from living alone and males can sire offspring out of their natal group.
Key wordsChimpanzee Male dispersal Remaining rate Male-bond Territory defense Siring by extragroup male
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