Measuring Daily Ranging Distances of Rhinopithecus bieti via a Global Positioning System Collar at Jinsichang, China: A Methodological Consideration

  • Baoping Ren
  • Ming Li
  • Yongcheng Long
  • Cyril C. Grüter
  • Fuwen WeiEmail author


There are few data on the daily ranging distances of Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus bieti). We fitted 1 adult male from a natural group at Jinsichang in China’s Yunnan Province with a global positioning system (GPS) collar and tracked him from December 2003 to October 2004 to estimate the daily ranging distances of the group. The total acquisition rate of the GPS collar was 82.2%, which indicates that one can use GPS collars to track the species efficiently in high-altitude, temperate, coniferous forest. We obtained group locations or fixes at 5 predetermined times during the day. The sleeping sites of the subjects are the key points to estimate the day range. We compared 2 measures of day range: the 2-point straight-line displacement and the multipoint cumulative daily ranging distance. Straight-line displacement between 2 consecutive mornings or 2 consecutive evenings can substitute for that between the morning sleeping site and the evening sleeping site. In general, the group does not move at night. The 2 measures of day range yielded different results. The multipoint cumulative daily ranging distance was the method of choice to measure their daily travel costs. The minimum required number of fixes per day was 3. Per statistical evidence, the number of full-day group follows per month influences the estimate of day range of the group and ≥10 d is required to obtain a reliable estimate; 5 d per month might not be enough. We dealt mainly with the methodologic aspects of day range calculations. We did not address functional aspects on the estimate of day range, viz. the influence of vegetation, food distribution patterns, climate change, seasonality, and the monkey group itself.


day range efficacy of GPS collar Rhinopithecus bieti 



A grant from TNC China Program and funding from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 30470310) and the Key Project of Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 30630016) supported our research. We thank our field assistants, Z. M. Zhang, Y. J. Zhang, and X. R. Yang, and R. D. Wu for the integration of many data sets into the ArcView system. We also appreciate R. D. Wu’s help in calculating some basic parameters for our final analysis. The State Forestry Administration of China and the Forestry Bureau of Yulong County also supported the field work. We acknowledge the 2 anonymous reviewers and Daniel White for valuable comments and language editing.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Baoping Ren
    • 1
  • Ming Li
    • 1
  • Yongcheng Long
    • 2
  • Cyril C. Grüter
    • 3
  • Fuwen Wei
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Conservation BiologyInstitute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.The Nature ConservancyChina ProgramKunming, YunnanChina
  3. 3.Anthropological InstituteUniversity of ZürichZürichSwitzerland
  4. 4.Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of SciencesDatunlu, Chaoyang DistrictBeijingChina

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