Proximal Spacing Between Individuals in a Group of Woolly Monkeys (Lagothrix lagotricha) in Tinigua National Park, Colombia

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Abstract

I studied proximal spacing within a group of woolly monkeys (Lagothrix lagotricha) during 7 months at Parque Nacional Tinigua, Colombia. I collected a total of 1188 instantaneous samples on focal individuals, recording the number and age/sex class of individuals that were in contact with, <2 m from, <5 m from the focal animal. The results indicate that proximate spacing reflects social affinities and is related to mother-infant relationship and social grooming. Subadult females and adult males are the sex/age classes with the lowest number of individuals in proximity. There are low proximity between adult females and between adult males and high frequencies of nearness between mother and offspring. Associations between males and females were usually low, but in some cases males showed preferences for a given female. There was a relatively gradual increase in spacing between mothers and their offspring as they became older. Old juvenile males were associated chiefly with other males—mostly subadults—whereas juvenile females maintained some proximity only to their mothers. There are also differences in spacing behavior according to different activity types.

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