Maintenance of Multifemale Social Organization in a Group of Nomascus concolor at Wuliang Mountain, Yunnan, China
- 205 Downloads
Many short-term studies have reported groups of black crested gibbons containing ≥2 adult females (Nomascus concolor). We report the stability of multifemale groups in this species over a period of 6 yr. Our focal group and 2 neighboring groups included 2 breeding females between March 2003 and June 2009. We also habituated 1 multifemale group to observers and present detailed information concerning their social relationships over a 9-mo observation period. We investigated interindividual distances and agonistic behavior among the 5 group members. The spatial relationship between the 3 adult members (1 male, 2 females) formed an equilateral triangle. A subadult male was peripheral to the focal group, while a juvenile male maintained a closer spatial relationship with the adult members. We observed little agonistic behavior among the adult members. The close spatial relationship and lack of high rates of agonistic behavior among females suggest that the benefits of living in a multifemale group were equal to or greater than the costs for both females, given their ecological and social circumstances. The focal group occupied a large home range that was likely to provide sufficient food sources for the 2 females and their offspring. Between March 2003 and June 2009, 1 adult female gave 2 births and the other one gave 1 birth. All individuals in the focal group survived to June 2009. A long-term comparative study focused on females living in multifemale groups and females living in pair-living groups would provide insight into understanding the evolutionary mechanisms of the social system in gibbons.
Keywordsagonistic gibbon multifemale Nomascus concolor spatial distance Yunnan
We conducted this research at the Gibbon Monitoring Station at Mt. Wuliang, central Yunnan, China, with support provided by The National Basic Research Program of China (no. 2007CB411600), Doctoral Funding from Dali University (no. KY430840), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 30670270). We thank the 3 anonymous reviewers and the editor for their valuable comments on the manuscript. We thank the staff from the Jingdong Nature Reserve Management Bureau for their needed support. We also thank our field assistants, Mr. Liu Yekun and Mr. Liu Yeyong, for their help.
- Bartlett, T. Q. (2007). The hylobatidae, small apes of Asia. In C. J. Campbell, A. Fuentes, K. C. Mackinnon, M. Panger & S. K. Bearder (Eds.), Primates in perspective (pp. 274–289). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Chivers, D. J. (1984). Feeding and ranging in gibbons: A summary. In H. Preuschoft, D. J. Chivers, W. Y. Brockelman & N. Creel (Eds.), The lesser apes: Evolution and behavioural biology (pp. 267–381). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
- Delacour, J. (1933). On the Indochinese gibbons (Hylobates concolor). Journal of Mammalogy, 14, 71–73.Google Scholar
- Fan, P. F. Jiang, X. L. Liu, C. M. & Luo, W. S. (2006). Polygynous mating system and behavioural reason of black crested gibbon (Nomascus concolor jingdongensis) at Dazhaizi, Mt. Wuliang, Yunnan, China. Zoological Research, 27, 216–220.Google Scholar
- Gittins, S. P. (1979). The behavior and ecology of the agile gibbon (Hylobates agilis). Ph.D. dissertation, University of Cambridge, Cambridge.Google Scholar
- Kinnaird, M. F., O’Brien, T. G., Nurcahyo, A., & Prasetyaningrum, M. (2002). Inter-group interactions and the role of calling among iamangs. XIXth Congress of the International Primatological Society. August 4–9, 2002, Beijing, China.Google Scholar
- Leighton, D. (1987). Gibbons: Territoriality and monogamy. In B. B. Smuts, D. L. Cheny, R. M. Seyfarth, R. W. Wrangham & T. T. Struhsaker (Eds.), Primate societies (pp. 135–145). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Macdonald, D. W. & Carr, G. M. (1989). Food security and the rewards of tolerance. In V. Standen & R. A. Foley (Eds.), Comparative socioecology, the behavioural ecology of humans and other mammals (pp. 75–99). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Siddiqi, N. A. (1986). Gibbons (Hylobates hoolock) in the West Bahanugach Reserved Forest of Sylhet District, Bangladesh. Tiggerpaper, 8, 29–31.Google Scholar
- Sommer, V. & Reichard, U. (2000). Rethinking monogamy: The gibbon case. In P. M. Kappeler (Ed.), Primate males: Cause and consequences of variation in group composition (pp. 159–168). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar