Demography of agile gibbons (Hylobates agilis)
- Cite this article as:
- Mitani, J.C. International Journal of Primatology (1990) 11: 411. doi:10.1007/BF02196129
- 138 Downloads
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.