International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 11, Issue 5, pp 411–424

Demography of agile gibbons (Hylobates agilis)

  • John C. Mitani

DOI: 10.1007/BF02196129

Cite this article as:
Mitani, J.C. International Journal of Primatology (1990) 11: 411. doi:10.1007/BF02196129


Demographic processes and the structure of a population of agile gibbons (Hylobates agilis) were investigated over 6 years in the Gunung Palung Reserve, Indonesia. Estimates of population size, density, and biomass revealed a population whose groups were stable in size and composition. Demographic processes place gibbons at risk, however, to short-term changes in their environment. Patterns of survival, fecundity, mortality, and dispersal combined to produce negative rates of growth. In addition, a top-heavy age-class distribution, with adults forming a large fraction of animals, makes it unlikely that this population could recover rapidly from a decline in numbers. Two behavioral factors, territoriality and monogamy, account for the size and stability of gibbon groups. Monogamy imposes limits on group size, while mating patterns and territoriality decrease the impact of sources of high mortality common in other primate species. These relationships underscore the fundamental importance of behavioral influence on demographic processes and social structure.

Key Words

demography conservation behavior gibbons 

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • John C. Mitani
    • 1
  1. 1.The Rockefeller University Field Research CenterMillbrook
  2. 2.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of MichiganAnn Arbor

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