Abstract # 121:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 14, 2014 04:00 PM-04:15 PM: Session 19 (Decatur A) Oral Presentation


RANGING BEHAVIOR AMONG WILD WHITE-HANDED GIBBONS (HYLOBATES LAR) IN A MOSAIC FOREST IN HUAI KHA KHAENG WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, WESTERN THAILAND

L. E. Light
The University of Texas at San Antonio, Department of Anthropology, One UTSA Circle, San Antonio, TX 78249, USA
line
     The majority of our knowledge of gibbon ranging behavior comes from evergreen forest where fruit availability is fairly consistent over time and space. For white-handed gibbons, home range area (HR) averages 40 hectares (ha) while daily path length (DPL) averages 1.4km/day. At Huai Kha Khaeng (HKK), wild gibbons occupy a diverse habitat that includes both evergreen forest and highly deciduous mosaic forest with high resource seasonality. This study examines the ranging behavior of gibbons in this unique environment. Specifically, I hypothesize that gibbons living in mosaic forest will have larger HR and longer DPL. Furthermore, I hypothesize that travel patterns will vary based on seasonal availability of resources. Four gibbon groups were followed intensively from March 2012 to May 2013, two inhabiting evergreen forest and two inhabiting mosaic forest. Home range area was calculated using the minimum convex polygon (MCP), kernel density estimate (KDE), and Local Convex Hull (LoCoH) methods. Regardless of method used, HR area varies substantially between habitat type, with evergreen groups measuring 19.7 and 24.1 ha (MCP) and mosaic groups 32.2 and 62.2 ha, suggesting that subjects in HKK alter their overall ranging patterns to deal with local ecological conditions. Forest quality may be a stronger factor than general forest type in driving behavior, yet these results add to the growing evidence of ecological flexibility among this family of small apes.