Abstract # 155:

Scheduled for Friday, June 22, 2007 05:00 PM-07:00 PM: Session 14 (South Main Hall) Poster Presentation

Variations in Ring-tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) Male Inter-Group Transfer Patterns in Three Populations

N. E. Grassi1, C. M. Berman1,2, R. G. Lessnau3, L. Gould4 and K. Blumenfeld-Jones5
1Department of Anthropology, 380 MFAC, Ellicott Complex, State University of New York at, Buffalo, NY 14261, USA, 2SUNY at Buffalo, Program in Evolution, Ecology and Behavior, Buffalo, NY, 3St. Catherines Island Foundation Survival Center, Midway GA, 4University of Victoria, Department of Anthropology, Victoria BC, 5Arizona State University, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Tempe AZ
     Data on male transfer patterns in ring-tailed lemurs are available from the wild, but few are available from semi free-ranging populations, like the provisioned one on St. Catherines Island (SCI), Georgia. Thus it is not clear how flexible transfer behavior is under a variety of conditions. We compared aspects of male transfer in ring-tailed lemurs on SCI (9 years, n=23 transfers) with data collected from Beza Mahafaly (6 years, n=50) and Berenty (1 year, n=7) in Madagascar. Transfers of more than one month were considered. The mean time between breeding transfers at SCI was 2.6 years, a shorter period than at Beza Mahafaly (3.5 years). SCI transfers showed a bimodal distribution, with the stronger peak in the birth season. Beza Mahafaly and Berenty transfers (excluding temporary mating season transfers) roughly coincided with and continued after the birth season. SCI males were likely to move to groups with higher M:F sex ratios whereas wild males were likely to move to groups with lower M:F sex ratios [c2, a=0.05]. At SCI only 22% of transfers were made with other males, whereas wild males typically transfer together. Possible reasons for differences between SCI and wild populations include the fact that SCI males were more limited in possible transfer partners and groups to transfer into. If so, transfer behavior may vary with population and demographic structure.