Abstract # 2544 Event # 223:

Scheduled for Monday, September 21, 2009 02:15 PM-02:25 PM: Session 24 (Shell Room) Oral Presentation


RANGING BEHAVIOR AND HOME RANGE AREA OF LEMUR CATTA (RING-TAILED LEMURS) IN THE CAP SAINTE-MARIE REGION, MADAGASCAR: DOES AN ABSENCE IN PATTERN REFLECT EXTREME FLEXIBILITY OF HABITAT AND FEEDING SITE USE?

E. A. Kelley
Washington University, Dept. of Anthropology, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA
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It has been theorized that the Lemur catta of Madagascar’s Cap Sainte-Marie (CSM) scrub forests have very large, variable home ranges. In contrast, gallery forest populations are characterized as having small, consistent home ranges. To quantitatively test this extreme divergence in ranging behavior, I conducted all-day follows on two troops of CSM Lemur catta from April 2007 through July 2008. GPS data were collected every hour. ArcGIS® 9.3 (Home Range Tools) was used to generate Multiple Convex Polygon (MCP), Kernel Density Estimates (KDE) and daily distance analyses. Through these analyses, I found that the average home range area of CSM troops are indeed much larger than those of gallery forest troops [132 ha, 87 ha vs. 8 ha, 25 ha]. Moreover, the monthly range of variation is extensive [26 ha-181 ha; 1 ha-292 ha]. I also found that there are no consistent intra or inter site ranging patterns, and feeding behaviors (e.g. feeding time after travel); do not explain this variation [R2=0.044, p=0.33]. Conversely, I found that monthly core ranges are typically comprised of sleeping sites and the top quartile fruit species—most commonly the invasive Opuntia ssp. Based on these findings, I suggest that food consumption is not a primary indicator of ranging pattern variance in CSM ring-tailed lemurs. Other variables, such as social contact, may be much more important.