Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 57, Issue 6, pp 525–535 | Cite as

Bisexually bonded ranging in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus)

  • Julia LehmannEmail author
  • Christophe Boesch
Original Article


While male mammals seek to maximize access to potential mates, females maximize feeding efficiency. Ranging patterns are therefore often sex specific. Sex-specific ranging patterns have also been reported for East African chimpanzees and a recent study on female ranging patterns concludes that social organization is best described by a male-bonded community model, where females occupy individual home ranges that are distributed within the boundaries of the male-defended range. In West African chimpanzees, however, such sex-specific ranging patterns have not been consistently observed and a bisexually bonded community model, where both sexes use the entire home range equally, has been suggested to best describe social organization. In this study we analyze 5 years of data on individual ranging patterns of chimpanzees in the Taï National Park (Côte d’Ivoire) to test specific predictions of the different models of chimpanzee social organization. We found that although males in Taï had slightly larger home ranges than females, all individual home ranges and core areas overlapped highly. Small individual home range size differences were entirely due to the use of peripheral areas and were correlated with female social dominance. These findings strongly support the bisexually bonded community model for Taï chimpanzees. Thus, we conclude that there are fundamental differences in the space-use patterns of East and West African chimpanzees and discuss possible factors leading to such differences.


Chimpanzees Sex differences Home range Range use Bisexually bonded 



We thank the Ministère de la Recherche Scientifique, the Ministère de l’Agriculture et des Ressources Animales and the direction of the Taï National Park of Côte d’Ivoire for permitting the research in the Taï National Park. We are grateful for the support provided by the Centre Suisse in Abidjan. For financial support we would like to thank the Fonds National Suisse de la Recherche Scientifique and the Max Planck Society. For their invaluable help we would like to thank the field assistants Grégoire Kohou Nohon and Honora Néné Kpazahi who collected most of the data presented here. We would also like to thank Maik Thraenert for his help with the database creation and six student helpers for typing in all the data and David Watts, Linda Vigilant, Laurent Lacroix, and Daniel Stahl for valuable discussions.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology LeipzigGermany
  2. 2.Biological SciencesUniversity of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK

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