Abstract # 69:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 21, 2012 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 9 (Gardenia) Poster Presentation


T. L. Campion1, M. D. Matheson1,2, C. M. Berman3, J. Li4,5, D. Xia4,5, Y. Zhu4,5 and B. Sun4,5
1Central Washington University, Primate Behavior and Ecology Program, Ellensburg, WA 98296, USA, 2Central Washington University, Psychology Department, 3Department of Anthropology, State University of New York - Buffalo, NY , 4School of Resources and Environment Engineering, Anhui University, Hefei, Anhui Province, China, 5School of Life Sciences, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu, Anhui Province, China

Maternal investment constitutes substantial temporal and energetic commitments for primates. The current study investigated maternal investment in a habituated and provisioned group of Tibetan macaques (Macaca thibetana) in Huangshan, China. Previous research has indicated that this group has suffered high rates of infant mortality, under the influence of range restriction imposed for tourism. Eleven females from six matrilines produced 69 offspring (42 male, 60.87%; 27 female, 39.13%) from 1989–2011. The highest-ranking female had 10 offspring, all male, constituting significantly more males (SR=1.63) and fewer females (SR=-2 ) than expected by chance (x2=5.1, df=1, p=0.0239). This gender skew is consistent with the Trivers-Willard hypothesis, which states that parents in good condition – including dominant parents – should invest in males. Infant mortality rates per female ranged from 0-50%, consistent with past research. While the average across females was 20.73%, the primiparous average was significantly higher, at 45.45% (z=2.02, p<0.05). Interbirth intervals (IBIs) averaged 1.44 years. Consistent with past research, after an offspring died, IBIs were shortened to an average 1.15 years. The current study indicates that, while infant mortality is exacerbated by range restriction, qualitative patterns of maternal investment in terms of rates and temporal patterns of birth are consistent with those found in wild groups.