International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 877–911

Orangutan Home Range Size and Its Determinants in a Sumatran Swamp Forest


DOI: 10.1023/A:1012033919441

Cite this article as:
Singleton, I. & van Schaik, C.P. International Journal of Primatology (2001) 22: 877. doi:10.1023/A:1012033919441


Orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) in a Sumatran swamp forest used home ranges far larger than any described so far for the species, in spite of living at the highest density on record. Although it was difficult to estimate home range sizes, minimum reliably estimated home range sizes for adult females are ca. 850 ha, whereas subadult and adult males used ranges of at least ca. 2500 ha, and perhaps much more. Range overlap was very high: up to 16 adult females, 9 adult males and at least 15 subadult males were seen within a single 4-ha square in the center of the study area. We found no evidence for the use of seasonally distincthome ranges—commuters—, and only some subadult males may have been transients—wanderers—without a stable home range. The large size of the home ranges is attributed to the coarse grain of the habitat mosaic, with orangutans converging on parts with a high density of favored fruit trees. Orangutans at this swamp forest included a variety of habitat types within their ranges.

Orangutan Sumatra home range overlap swamp forest habitat mosaic transience phenology 

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, Department of AnthropologyThe University of Kent at CanterburyKentUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Department of Biological Anthropology and AnatomyDuke UniversityDurham

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