Food resources, distribution and seasonal variations in ranging in lion-tailed macaques, Macaca silenus in the Western Ghats, India
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The distribution and availability of food was examined to see how it influenced ranging patterns and sleeping site selection in a group of lion-tailed macaques. The home range and core area were 130.48 ha (95 % kernel) and 26.68 ha (50 % kernel) respectively. The lion-tailed macaques had a longer day range, had a greater number of sleeping sites and used more core areas in the summer as compared to the monsoon and the post-monsoon seasons. The ranging patterns and sleeping site use were influenced by the major food resources used in a particular season. The ranging was mainly influenced by Artocarpus heterophyllus in monsoon, Cullenia exarillata and Toona ciliata in post- monsoon, and Artocarpus heterophyllus and Ficus amplissima in summer. The distribution of these four plant species is, therefore, critical to ranging, and thus to conservation of the lion-tailed macaque.
KeywordsDaily travel path length Feeding ecology Food availability Home range Keystone species Sleeping site use
We thank the Chief Wildlife Warden and the officials of the Kerala Forest Department for permissions to conduct this study and for their field assistance; S. Subiah, G. Abhilash and Sayantan Das for helping us with the field work; Dr. Girish Gopinath and Dr. N. Sasidharan for assistance in tree identification; and Madhur Mangalam and Pinkie Jacob Eravuchira for helpful discussions and valuable editing feedback. This study was supported by a Science and Engineering Research Board, India Ramanna Fellowship to MS. We thank the editor and the reviewers of Primates for their insightful comments and of the International Journal of Primatology for commenting on an earlier version of this article. We thank Professor Irwin Bernstein, University of Georgia for making useful suggestions and for correcting the language of the final version.
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