Abstract # 4594 Poster # 58:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 20, 2013 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 9 (SG Foyer ABC) Poster Presentation


GETTING TOO CLOSE: A BEHAVIORAL COMPARISON OF HAPALEMUR AUREUS EXAMINING THE EFFECTS OF TOURIST PRESENCE AT RANOMAFANA NATIONAL PARK, MADAGASCAR.

C. Baratz1,2
1University of California, San Diego, 9450 Gilman Dr, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA, 2School of International Training
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     Madagascar’s tourism earnings have risen 11% since the 1990’s and its national parks have seen a vast increase in tourist attendance. This study examines how tourism influences the activity budget of two groups of Hapalemur aureus in Ranomafana National Park. Data were collected through group scan sampling using three-minute intervals from November 8, 2012 until November 24, 2012 for a total of 41 hours within Ranomafana’s primary forest. The two groups were selected for their locations in the park and the frequency with which they were in the presence of tourists. One group was located on the established trail circuit and in the presence of tourists 35.8% of time observed (Group Near). The other, rarely in tourist presence, was located deeper in the forest corridor at a significantly higher elevation (Group Far). Results show that Group Near spent significantly less time feeding (10% of time observed) and traveling (22%), as compared to Group Far who spent 22% of time observed feeding and 29% traveling (F1,11=3.52, p=0.001). Group Near engaged in significantly more grooming behavior (6%) than Group Far (3%, F1,11=5.85, p=0.034). While differences in activity budgets do appear to be affected by tourist presence, these data must remain preliminary due to the small sample size and limited number of data collection hours. Future and more extensive research, taking ecological differences into consideration, is recommended.