Abstract # 4337 Poster # 63:

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


INTER-ANNUAL VARIABILITY IN THE RANGING ECOLOGY OF WILD GELADA MONKEYS (THEROPITHECUS GELADA) AT GUASSA, ETHIOPIA, FROM 2007-2011

C. Moua, P. J. Fashing and N. Nguyen
California State University Fullerton, Fullerton, CA 92834, USA
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     Although they are the only primate species endemic to an alpine grassland ecosystem, we know relatively little about how geladas (Theropithecus gelada) utilize their unusual habitat. Studies of ranging ecology enhance our understanding of how animals, like geladas, respond to ecological variability across space and time, as well as provide data on patterns of habitat use essential to making informed conservation decisions. Using ArcGIS 9.3 and 10, Geospatial Modelling Environment 0.6.1, and Home Range Tools 1.1, we investigated the daily movement patterns and annual home range sizes of a band of ~220 wild gelada monkeys at Guassa, Ethiopia, over a five-year period from Jan-2007 to Dec-2011. We constructed annual home ranges using the fixed kernel method with the smoothed-cross validation (SCV) bandwidth selector. Overall, despite similar numbers of all-day follows each year (mean=157, range=145-168 days), annual home range sizes (95% fixed kernel SCV) increased over the 5-year period (2007: 4.7 km2; 2008: 6.5 km2; 2009: 6.9 km2; 2010: 9.5 km2; 2011: 8.7 km2). Mean annual daily path length (±SE) also exhibited a similar trend (2007: 2855±57 m; 2008: 3339±65 m; 2009: 3272±72 m; 2010: 3836±80 m; 2011: 4093±87 m). Given the large inter-annual variability in ranging patterns over the 5-year study period at Guassa, our results indicate the importance of longitudinal monitoring of ranging behavior for wild nonhuman primates.