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International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 13–51 | Cite as

Social Organization and Range Use in the Yunnan Snub-Nosed Monkey Rhinopithecus bieti

  • R. C. Kirkpatrick
  • Y. C. Long
  • T. Zhong
  • L. Xiao
Article

Abstract

We studied social organization, behavior, and range use of the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) at Wuyapiya (99°12′E, 28°30′N, the People's Republic of China) over 12 months between May 1992 and June 1994. The Wuyapiya band contained ≥175 members and had two levels of social organization. At one level, the monkeys formed multifemale, one-male units (OMUs) similar to those of many other colobines. At another level, 15 to 18 OMUs traveled together in a cohesive band. Unlike the bands of other species of Rhinopithecus, the Wuyapiya band of R. bieti did not show seasonal fission–fusion, although some social behavior, such as male–male aggression, was seasonal. With regard to range use, the Wuyapiya band had a large home range and long daily travel distances compared with other colobines. Minimum range size in 1 year at Wuyapiya is 16.25 km2, although there is no asymptote for range size as a function of observation time. Range size for the Wuyapiya band is 25.25 km2over the 2-year study and appeared to cover 100 km2between 1985 and 1994. The primary food of R. bieti at Wuyapiya is lichens, which are ubiquitous in fir trees. The multitiered social organization of R. bieti appears to result from the interaction of food resource characters with the forces of mate competition, with band sizes based on female responses to the spatial and temporal characteristics of lichens and subdivisions within bands based on male competition for mates.

Rhinopithecus bieti Colobinae temperate primates social organization range use lichen-eating China 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. C. Kirkpatrick
    • 1
  • Y. C. Long
    • 2
  • T. Zhong
    • 3
  • L. Xiao
    • 3
  1. 1.Graduate Group in Ecology, c/o Department of AnthropologyUniversity of CaliforniaDavis
  2. 2.Center for Biological ConservationKunming Institute of ZoologyKunming, YunnanPRC
  3. 3.Research OfficeBaimaxueshan Nature ReserveDeqin, YunnanPRC

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