, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 436–451 | Cite as

Habitat use, ranging behaviour, and food habits of the proboscis monkey,Nasalis larvatus (van Wurmb), in Sarawak

  • R. E. Salter
  • N. A. MacKenzie
  • N. Nightingale
  • K. M. Aken
  • P. Chai P. K.


Studies on the ecology of the proboscis monkey were conducted in seven areas of Sarawak during 1980–1981. Groups were found in a variety of riparian and coastal habitats but where high forests occurred they appeared to be preferred over other adjacent types. Undisturbed tidal forests were widely used but were preferred only where high forest was lacking or limited in extent. Clear-felled tidal forests and areas around human settlements were completely avoided, although some use was made of selectively felled tidal forests, remnant tidal forests adjacent to agricultural land, and selectively logged high forest. Monkeys slept primarily and perhaps exclusively along river edges where these were available, moving inland up to 750m during the day and returning to the riverside in late afternoon. Groups often split up into distinct subunits during daily movements. Feeding occurred throughout the day and in all habitats occupied. Proboscis monkeys were observed feeding on at least 90 plant species, including leaves or shoots of 75 species, fruits of 15 species, seeds of 10 species, and flowers of 4 species. Certain tidal forest species (Sonneratia alba, Avicennia alba, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, Rhizophora spp.) appeared to be the single most important food plants, although where high forests were available more feeding time was spent in these types than in tidal forests or other habitats.

Key Words

Proboscis monkey Habitat Ranging behaviour Diet 


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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. E. Salter
    • 1
  • N. A. MacKenzie
    • 1
  • N. Nightingale
    • 2
  • K. M. Aken
    • 1
  • P. Chai P. K.
    • 3
  1. 1.Sarawak National Parks and Wildlife OfficeMalaysia
  2. 2.Oxford UniversityUK
  3. 3.Forest Department, KuchingSarawakEast Malaysia

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