Abstract # 127:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 20, 2009 04:00 PM-04:10 PM: Session 13 (Del Mar Room) Oral Presentation


K. McGoogan, T. Steffens and S. Lehman
University of Toronto, 19 Russell Street, Toronto, ON M5S 2S2, Canada

We compared home range size between groups of Propithecus coquereli living near a forest edge versus a forest interior over 14-months in Ankarafantsika National Park, Madagascar. Any changes in the distribution and abundance of food or human impact due to edges could transform primate ranging patterns. We conducted dawn-to-dusk follows of four habituated groups of P. coquereli: two located < 1-kilometre from the edge and two located > 1-kilometre from the edge. We marked the location of each group throughout the day using a GPS. Basal area and food tree density were determined using multiple 25 by 25 meter quadrats. Edge groups had larger home ranges than interior groups. Based on independent samples t-tests [α=0.05], basal area and food tree density did not differ between edge versus interior groups. Human impact was higher near the edge, evidenced by sightings of humans, damage to the forest, and the discovery of hunting equipment. Adult sex ratio varied between groups, but there was no pattern. Socioecological theory suggests that groups with more females have a larger home ranges due to more feeding competition. However, in this study the group with the most females had the smallest home range. The differences in home range in this study may therefore be related to other factors such as increased human presence and hunting pressures near the edge.