Long-term Site Fidelity and Individual Home Range Shifts inLophocebus albigena

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Abstract

We investigated long-term site fidelity of gray-cheeked mangabey (Lophocebus albigena) groups in Kibale National Park, Uganda. Concurrently, we monitored shifts in home range by individual females and subadult and adult males. We documented home range stability by calculating the area of overlap in successive years, and by recording the drift of each group's monthly centroid from its initial location. Home ranges remained stable for 3 of our 4 groups (overlap over 10 yr >60%). Core areas were more labile, but group centroids drifted an average of only 530 m over the entire decade. Deviations from site fidelity were associated with dispersal or group fission. During natal dispersal, subadult males expanded their home ranges over many months, settling ≤4 home ranges away. Adult males, in contrast, typically dispersed within a few days to an adjacent group in an area of home range overlap. Adult males made solitary forays, but nearly always into areas used by their current group or by a group to which they had previously belonged. After secondary dispersal, they expanded their ranging in the company of their new group, apparently without prior solitary exploration of the new area. Some females also participated in home range shifts. Females shifted home ranges only within social groups, in association with temporary or permanent group splits. Our observations raise the possibility that male mangabeys use a finder-joiner mechanism when moving into new home ranges during secondary dispersal. Similarly, females might learn new resource locations from male immigrants before or during group fission.

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