, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 374–382 | Cite as

Social organization of Sichuan snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus roxellana) in the Qinling Mountains, Central China

  • Peng ZhangEmail author
  • Kunio Watanabe
  • Baoguo Li
  • Chia L. Tan
Original Article


Sichuan snub-nosed monkeys were observed for 197 days from 2000 to 2003 in the Qinling Mountains, Central China. The study group was provisioned in 2001 allowing detailed observations of social organization based on individual identification. The group was composed of 45–82 monkeys, all of which belonged to one of 6–8 one-male units (OMU) that foraged to form one big group. The average unit size was 9.0±2.3, 8±1.5 in the winter and 11.1±2.0 in the spring. Immigration or emigration of one-male units to or from the foraging group was observed, as was migration of individuals in and out of OMU, especially for by subadult females and juveniles. Group size therefore tended to fluctuate with the number of OMU and the number of young monkeys present in the group. The OMU in the study area were smaller than those in Shennongjia area. The factors influencing the size of these OMU and the entire group are discussed.


Group composition Individual identification Multi-tier social group One-male unit Sichuan snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus roxellana



We thank Dr. K. Wada for indispensable support during this research project. Thanks are also due to Dr. J.A. Phillips for critical reading of the manuscript. The authors are very grateful to Zhouzhi Nature Reserve and, in particular, Mr. P.J. He (Director of Zhouzhi Nature Reserve) for giving us permission to carry out our research. We also thank Drs. S.T. Guo and X.G. Qi (Northwest University) as well as local assistants for assistance in the field. This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (30370202), The Zoological Society of San Diego, USA, the Nippon Life Insurance Foundation, Japan, and the Daiko Foundation, Japan.


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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre and Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peng Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Kunio Watanabe
    • 1
  • Baoguo Li
    • 2
  • Chia L. Tan
    • 3
  1. 1.Primate Research InstituteKyoto UniversityInuyama, AichiJapan
  2. 2.Northwest UniversityXi’anPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.The Zoological Society of San DiegoSan DiegoUSA

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