Abstract # 124:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 18, 2011 10:00 AM-10:15 AM: Session 17 (Meeting Room 408) Oral Presentation


THE IMPACT OF HABITAT QUALITY ON REPRODUCTIVE BEHAVIORS AND ACTIVITY BUDGETS IN FEMALE RED COLOBUS MONKEYS (PROCOLOBUS RUFOMITRATUS) IN KIBALE NATIONAL PARK, UGANDA

K. M. Milich and R. M. Stumpf
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Anthropology, 109 Davenport Hall, 607 S. Mathews, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
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     Behavioral plasticity is important for wild primates, particularly in disturbed habitats. This study investigates the 1) reproductive behaviors and 2) activity budgets of female red colobus living in previously logged areas of Kibale National Park, Uganda compared to females living in unlogged areas, and 3) the behavioral mechanisms red colobus may be using to cope with degraded habitats. Female activity budgets were expected to differ depending on their habitat. Compared to females in unlogged habitats, females living in logged habitats were expected to rest more and to exhibit a shorter sexual swelling duration and estrus. Focal follows of 40 females from 6 groups of habituated red colobus monkeys (3 groups in logged areas and 3 in unlogged areas) resulted in approximately 7000 hours of observation time. Focal females’ sexual swelling size, activities, identity of nearest neighbor, distance to nearest neighbor, activity of nearest neighbor, and any other individuals within 5m were recorded. Additionally, ad libitum data were collected for all mating behaviors. Within-group and between-group variation were compared to determine the impact of ecological conditions on female behavior. Females in unlogged areas had higher rates of mating behaviors than females in logged areas (p?0.05). Examining how female activity budgets and reproductive behaviors relate to habitat quality is crucial for understanding how females adjust to ecological variation and will help to inform conservation management policies.