Abstract # 2855 Event # 108:

Scheduled for Saturday, June 19, 2010 08:00 AM-08:10 AM: Session 19 (Mezzanine Ballroom A/B/C/D) Oral Presentation


TOURIST DENSITY AND INFANT-DIRECTED AGGRESSION IN TIBETAN MACAQUES (MACACA THIBETANA) AT MT. HUANGSHAN, CHINA.

S. Self1, L. K. Sheeran1, M. Matheson1, J. H. Li2, S. Harding1, O. Pelton1 and R. S. Wagner1
1Central Washington University, 400 E. University Way, Ellensburg, WA 98926-7544, USA, 2Anhui University
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Berman et al., (2007) demonstrated impacts different ecotourism management methods had on annual infant mortality rates in a group of habituated Tibetan macaques (Macaca thibetana) at Mt. Huangshan, China. We further explored the contribution of one aspect of ecotourism management (tourist density) at the same site in an 8 week study, focusing on rates of infant-directed aggression (IDA) instead of annual mortality. We hypothesized that tourist density and IDA frequencies would be positively correlated. We collected demographic information on perpetrators of IDA and predicted that adult males would engage in IDA more frequently than adult females or juveniles. Subjects consisted of 5 adult males, 7 adult females, 16 juveniles, and 5 infants. Tourist density was measured by scan samples every 6 minutes and averaged across the sample to correlate with any occurring IDA. IDA frequencies were recorded during 2 minute infant focal samples. The distribution of aggressors differed significantly from chance [X²(2)=62.88, n=63, P<0.01], with adult males accounting for 54% of attacks. Among adult males, the distribution of IDA differed significantly from chance [X²(4)=36.88, n=34, P<0.01], with the alpha male accounting for 58% of adult-male-to-infant aggression and 20% of total cases of IDA. Additionally, particular IDA behaviors were associated with specific ages/sexes [X²(12)=30.45, n=81, P<0.01]. No significant correlation was found between total tourist density and IDA frequency, supporting Berman et al.’s (2007) findings.