Primates

, Volume 45, Issue 4, pp 211–219 | Cite as

Fruit availability and chimpanzee party size at Kahuzi montane forest, Democratic Republic of Congo

Original Article

Abstract

The effect of fruit availability on chimpanzee party size was investigated in the montane forest of Kahuzi. Seasonal variation in both fruit availability and party size was examined. Fruit abundance per se does not affect chimpanzee party size. However, seasonality and distribution patterns of fruits are both determinant ecological factors that control the size of chimpanzee parties at Kahuzi. There was no correlation between fruit abundance and the spatial distribution of fruits. When fruits were clumped and available in large amounts for a long period, chimpanzee party size increased, or otherwise decreased when fruits were highly available for only a limited period. Tree species that produced only a small amount of ripe fruit throughout the year did not affect the foraging party size of chimpanzees. Temporal and spatial variability in fruit abundance seems to constrain grouping patterns of chimpanzees at Kahuzi more so than in other chimpanzee habitats previously described.

Keywords

Fruit availability Seasonality Party size Chimpanzee Kahuzi montane forest 

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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre and Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre de Recherche en Sciences NaturellesLwiroDemocratic Republic of Congo

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