Abstract # 2480 Poster # 97:

Scheduled for Friday, June 20, 2008 05:00 PM-07:00 PM: Session 12 (Ball Rooms A and B) Poster Presentation

Self directed behaviors, tourist density and proximity in a free living population of Tibetan macaques (Macaca thibetana) at an ecotourism destination in Anhui Province, China

T. A. Yenter1, M. D. Matheson1, L. K. Sheeran1, J. Li2 and R. S. Wagner1
1Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA 98926, USA, 2Anhui University
     Prior work has found a relationship between tourist density and self-directed behaviors (SDBs) in Tibetan macaques (Macaca thibetana) at the Valley of the Wild Monkeys. Focal sampling was used to collect data on two groups, one with eight adults and the other with 20, during August 2007. Consistent with past research, we found that the quadrat of the study site where monkeys are at eye-level with humans was both least visited by the monkeys and had the highest SDB rates. Of the remaining tourist adjacent quadrats, monkeys spent significantly less time in these areas [T=0, n=8, p=0.01], but showed significantly fewer SDBs [T=1, n=8, p=0.02] than in non-adjacent quadrats. The current research also compared SDB rates of the two groups (YA-1 & YA-2), and found a significant difference between males in the two groups [Mean=0.323 per minute vs. 0.998; U1=0, U2=27, n1=3, n2=9, p=0.01]. A trend toward a positive correlation between tourist density and SDBs was found in one group in the quadrat of the study site at which monkeys are at eye-level with humans [r(24)=0.38, p<0.10]. The difference in SDB rates of the males seems counterintuitive because YA-1 had a new alpha male and a male immigrating. A possible explanation is that YA-1 has been the subject of research and ecotourism for longer and is more habituated to human presence.