, Volume 51, Issue 2, pp 149–158 | Cite as

Seasonal changes in food resource distribution and feeding sites selected by Japanese macaques on Koshima Islet, Japan

Original Article


Feeding sites of Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) change according to seasonal fluctuations in food resource distribution. To examine what characteristics of food items affect feeding site selection, I describe herein the seasonal changes in food items, feeding sites, and food resource distributions of this species. Feeding behavior of monkeys and their food resource distributions were investigated on Koshima Islet, southern Japan, for four study periods (i.e., seasons) in 2002. Monkeys showed large variations in their diet between seasons. To weigh the relative influence of the distribution and abundance of food items on feeding site selection in each season, multiple regression analyses were performed by 100 m × 100 m grid. In the analyses, feeding time was a dependent variable and the abundance of staple food items, for which feeding time was over 5% in each season, in each grid square was an independent variable. There was no correlation between the resource distribution of most food items and the distribution of feeding time by monkeys in each season. Monkeys spent more feeding time where multiple staple food items were available. Food items that affected feeding site selection by monkeys had the following three characteristics: (1) clumped distribution, (2) seasonal availability, and (3) fruit. This suggests that monkeys are likely to select feeding sites to consume food items whose availability is limited temporally and spatially, which may enable them to simultaneously use other widely distributed, abundant food items efficiently.


Home range use Resource distribution Multiple food items Macaca fuscata 



This study was partially supported by the Cooperation Research Program of Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University, and a Grant-in-Aid for the Biodiversity Research of the 21st Century COE Program to Kyoto University (A14) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology. I thank F. Kanchi and N. Yamaguchi, technicians at the Koshima Field Station, Kyoto University, for their help with data collection. I also thank Y. Muroyama, University of Hyogo, for his helpful comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript. I am grateful to T. Iwamoto and S. Ito, Miyazaki University, A. Mori, H. Sugiura, and the members of the Socio-ecological Seminar of the Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University for their invaluable discussions. All research reported in this study complied with the protocols approved by the Field Research Committee of Kyoto University and applicable national laws.


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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre and Springer 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Primate Research InstituteKyoto UniversityInuyamaJapan

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