Comparative behavioral ecology of sympatric presbytis rubicunda and macaca fascicularisin Tawau Hills Park, Sabah, Malaysia

Maklarin Hj. Lakim, (2008) Comparative behavioral ecology of sympatric presbytis rubicunda and macaca fascicularisin Tawau Hills Park, Sabah, Malaysia. PhD thesis, Universiti Malaysia Sabah.

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Abstract

A comparative ecological study was carried out on sympatric red leaf monkeys (Presbytis rubicund a) and long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) at Tawau Hills Park, Sabah. The study was aimed at comparing the approaches adopted by the two primate species in the utilization and sharing of natural resources within their surroundings. Intensive field data collection was carried out over a period of 18 months. Data collection involved following of monkey groups and observing their behavior using instantaneous scan sampling method and ad libitum sampling method. Density and population of primates was estimated employing the line transect survey. The site is characterized by primary and old secondary lowland dipterocarp forests. A total of 551 trees with >30 cm gbh were recorded at botanical plot 1 representing 39 families and 164 species. Another 545 trees enumerated from botanical plot 2 comprised of 42 families and 128 species. Dipterocarpaceae and Euphorbiaceae are dominant in both plots. Forest structure also showed similarity in terms of gbh, basal area and tree height. The leafing, flowering and fruiting phenology showed significant differences between primary and secondary forest areas. A total of 1,300 behavioral observation hours was collected evenly from each study primate group. Presbytis rubicunda was observed for 647: 00' hrs with 54 full day follows while Macaca fascicularis was followed for 658:40' hrs with 54 full day follows. Four behavior-ecological aspects, namely activity pattern, food selection, ranging behavior and social organization were compared between the two primate species. In terms of activity pattern, Presbytis rubicunda tended to rest (36.80%) while Macaca fascicularis spent more time in foraging (29.59%). Monthly and daily activity patterns of both groups were significantly different. In the selection of food, Presbytis rubicunda included a total of 79 plant spedes in its diet, consuming a large amount of young leaves (60.76%). In contrast, Macaca fascicularis restricted its diet to only 26 plant species, consuming a lot of fruits (49.00%) and include a large amount of animal matter (5.45%) in its diet. Food plant species similarity index is 47.7 % indicating considerable similarity but, given the differences in the selection of plant parts eaten, this figure is an exaggeration. In the use of space, Presbytis rubicunda used 78.5 ha of area and Macaca fascicularis used 80.0 ha. Home ranges overlap was 56.82% and both study groups utilized primary and secondary forest habitats equally. Presbytis rubicunda tended to use a large area of coverage compared to Macaca fascicularis that tended to use the core area repetitively. Defendability index suggested that Macaca fascicularis was territorial while Presbytis rubicunda was not. The use of forest canopy strata was also comparable between both groups, where they spent a large amount of their time in the middle (16-25m) and the upper (26-35m) canopy strata. Social organization structure was conspicuously different as implied by their group size where Presbytis rubicunda comprised only about one-forth of the group size of Macaca fascicularis (30 individuals). Nevertheless, results of transect survey indicated a higher density of Presbytis rubicunda (2.02 group/km²) compared to Macaca fascicularis (0.43 group/ km²). Social interaction between both study groups indicated a very high tolerance and sharing. However, fierce competition was observed between different groups of similar species for both Presbytis rubicunda and Macaca fascicularis.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords:red leaf monkey, long-tailed macaques, utilization, ecology, social interaction
Subjects:Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions:SCHOOL > Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation
ID Code:10215
Deposited By:IR Admin
Deposited On:23 Dec 2014 12:42
Last Modified:23 Dec 2014 12:42

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