Seasonal Variations in the Activity Budget of Nomascus concolor jingdongensis at Mt. Wuliang, Central Yunnan, China: Effects of Diet and Temperature
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- Fan, PF., Ni, QY., Sun, GZ. et al. Int J Primatol (2008) 29: 1047. doi:10.1007/s10764-008-9256-7
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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.