Home-range Use by a Large Horde of Wild Mandrillus sphinx
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- White, E.C., Dikangadissi, JT., Dimoto, E. et al. Int J Primatol (2010) 31: 627. doi:10.1007/s10764-010-9417-3
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The predicted relationship between home-range size and group mass in primates developed by Clutton-Brock and Harvey (1977) has proved extremely robust in describing the use of space by most primate species. However, mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx) are now known to have an extreme group mass in the wild, far larger than that of the species used originally to generate that relationship, and so it was unknown whether this relationship would be robust for this species. We investigated the home-range size and use of a wild horde of ca. 700 mandrills in Lopé National Park, Gabon, using radiotelemetry. The total area the horde used over a 6-yr period [100% minimum convex polygon (MCP)] was 182 km2, including 89 km2 of suitable forest habitat. Mandrills used gallery forests and isolated forest fragments with high botanical diversity far more intensively that the continuous forest and completely avoided savanna and marsh. Peeled polygons and fixed kernel contours revealed multiple centres of use, with the horde spending more than half its time in <10% of the total documented range, typical of a frugivore using a patchy environment. Home-range size and internal structure varied considerably between years, but total home range fitted the predicted relationship between group mass and home range size, despite being an outlier to the dataset. We discuss the conservation implications of the species’ space requirements, in light of current pressures on land use in their range.