The Gibbons pp 347-384 | Cite as

The Social Organization and Mating System of Khao Yai White-Handed Gibbons: 1992-2006

  • Ulrich H. Reichard
Part of the Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects book series (DIPR)


Nonhuman primates are well known among mammals for having a highly social nature and for developing individualized, long-lasting, intimate social relationships (Haimoff and Gittins 1985; Cheney et al. 1986; Rendall et al. 1996; Boesch and Boesch-Achermann 2000; Zuberbühler and Byrne 2006). In both gregarious and semisolitary primates such as orangutans, social relationships are characterized by repeated interactions with the same partners both within and between groups (Singleton and van Schaik 2002; Robbins et al. 2005). It has been recognized (e.g., Dunbar 1998) that a complex social life and long-term individual-based partnerships may require specific cognitive capacities and has been a primary force for the evolution of large brains in primates.

Within the realm of primate social systems, a great diversity of social relationships can be seen across age-sex classes. One component of the social system, commonly denoted as the social organization, describes how groups are...


Home Range Sexual Strategy Solitary Individual Intergroup Encounter Primary Male 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I am thankful to Ms Pannee Panyawattanaporn of the National Research Council of Thailand, who has been a reliable and knowledgeable administrative partner for more than a decade. I thank the Royal Thai Forest Department and the National Park Division at the Department of Natural Resources, Plant Conservation and Biodiversity (DNP), Thailand, as well as the superintendents of Khao Yai National Park, for granting research permits and allowing me to carry out research at Khao Yai National Park. S. Sornchaipoon, A. Mungpoonklang, C. Sangnate, S. Homros and T. Desgnam helped in collecting demographic and behavioral data. Knut Finstermeier designed the Khao Yai map. Aimee Hosemann provided useful comments on an earlier draft of the manuscript. This long-term research benefited from generous support from the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science, Department of Primatology, Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany, and lately Southern Illinois University Carbondale, U.S.A.

Because group structure variation has not yet been described in gibbons I provide short, descriptive Appendices describing the formation of and social relationships in representative multimale single-female groups (Appendices 1 and 2), a multifemale single-male group (Appendix 3), and the sole multimale multifemale group (Appendix 4). All “father–son” relationships mentioned in Appendices are based on observed social parentage of co-residence; genetic relationships were unknown.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologySouthern Illinois UniversityCarbondaleUSA

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