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International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 547–566 | Cite as

Home Range Size and Habitat use by Cat Ba Langurs (Trachypithecus poliocephalus) in a Disturbed and Fragmented Habitat

  • Rebecca Hendershott
  • Benjamin Rawson
  • Alison Behie
Article

Abstract

Primate home range size and habitat use are affected by resource availability, which may change seasonally. Limestone langurs (Trachypithecus genus), including the Critically Endangered Cat Ba langur (Trachypithecus poliocephalus), live on limestone karst hills with shrubby and discontinuous vegetation. This study explores home range size and habitat use in relation to substrate, vegetation coverage, and hill type for Cat Ba langurs living on Cat Ba Island. We predicted that home range size would be similar to that of other limestone langurs and that as resources vary seasonally and across habitat types, habitat use would vary with season and behavior, with foraging concentrated on slopes, where food is plentiful. We collected 180 days of observational data on two reproductive groups (N = 7 and N = 10–13), taking GPS fixes of the group whenever they moved farther than the typical group spread to determine home ranges, and 10-min instantaneous scans to assess habitat use. The two groups had home ranges of 22 ha and 50 ha (0.32 and 0.20–0.26 individuals/ha respectively). Ranges for both groups were smaller in the dry season than the wet season, although we could not assess seasonal variation statistically. The langurs spent most scans on rocks, in sparsely vegetated areas, and on exposed slopes and steep cliffs; however they foraged primarily on gradually inclined slopes, especially in the dry season. These results suggest that conservation efforts should focus on protecting nutritionally important valleys and exposed slopes to ensure year-long access to food resources. It may, however, be difficult to balance human and nonhuman primate habitat use.

Keywords

Behavior Colobine Hill type Limestone langur Seasonality Substrate 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study would not have been possible without the support and cooperation of the Cat Ba Langur Conservation Project and Cat Ba National Park. Mr. Nguyen Cam (Cat Ba National Park ranger) assisted by driving the boat and having a keen eye for langur spotting. Mr. Neahga Leonard, Ms. Le Thi Ngoc Han, Mr. Mai Sy Luan, and Mr. Tran Van Lan (all from the Cat Ba Langur Conservation Project) as well as Nguyen The Cuong (Fauna & Flora International) provided on-the-ground support, for which we are very grateful. Dr. Teresa Neeman in the Statistical Consulting Unit of Australian National University provided invaluable assistance in analyses. We are appreciative of the image preparation provided by Benjamin Kimitsuka. Grants were generously provided by Australian National University Research Training Scheme funding, Primate Action Fund (PAF 14-15; CI Contract 1000575), Mohamed Bin Zayed (Grant #13257134), and WildInvest and Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (Grant 64587). The authors thank anonymous reviewers and the editor for their contribution to draft editing.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Archaeology and AnthropologyAustralian National UniversityActonAustralia
  2. 2.World Wildlife FundHanoiVietnam

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