Seasonal Variations in the Activity Budget of Nomascus concolor jingdongensis at Mt. Wuliang, Central Yunnan, China: Effects of Diet and Temperature

  • Peng-Fei Fan
  • Qing-Yong Ni
  • Guo-Zheng Sun
  • Bei Huang
  • Xue-Long Jiang


We studied seasonal variation in the activity budget of a habituated group of Nomascus concolor jingdongensis at Mt. Wuliang, Central Yunnan, China from March 2005 to April 2006 via scan sampling at 5-min intervals. The study site is near the northern extreme of the distribution of hylobatids, at high altitude with extreme seasonality of temperature and rainfall. During the day, feeding manifested a bimodal pattern of high activity levels in mid-morning and mid-afternoon, whereas resting reached a peak at midday, with proportionally less time used for traveling. Annually, the group spent an average of 40.0% of the time resting, 35.1% feeding, 19.9% traveling, 2.6% singing, 1.2% playing, and 1.3% in other activities. The proportion of time allocated to activities showed significant monthly variations and was influenced by the diet and temperature. Gibbons increased traveling and playing time and decreased feeding time when they ate more fruit, and they decreased traveling, singing, and playing time and increased feeding time when they ate more leaves. Moreover, when the temperature was low, the gibbons decreased time traveling and increased time resting. In summary, black-crested gibbons employed high-effort activities when they ate more fruit and energy-conservation patterns when they ate more leaves and in low temperature. Behavioral data from the site are particularly useful in understanding gibbon behavioral adaptations to different sets of ecological conditions.


activity budget Central Yunnan China Nomascus concolor jingdongensis seasonal variation 



The National Basic Research Program of China (no. 2003CB415103), National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 30670270), and Knowledge Innovation Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (no. KSCX2-SW-119) supported this study, carried out at the Gibbon Monitoring Station at Mt. Wuliang.. We thank the staff from the Jingdong Nature Reserve Management Bureau for their needed support. We also acknowledge our field assistants, Mr. Liu Yekun and Mr. Liu Yeyong, for their help.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peng-Fei Fan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Qing-Yong Ni
    • 1
  • Guo-Zheng Sun
    • 1
  • Bei Huang
    • 1
  • Xue-Long Jiang
    • 1
  1. 1.Kunming Institute of Zoologythe Chinese Academy of SciencesKunmingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.College of Life Science and ChemistryDali UniversityDaliPeople’s Republic of China

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