Mangabey (Cercocebus albigena) Ranging Patterns in Relation to Fruit Availability and the Risk of Parasite Infection in Kibale National Park, Uganda
Chapman, Colin A.
Waser, Peter M.
Basuta, Gilbert Isabirye
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Two opposing hypotheses concerning determinants of mangabey (Cercocebus albigena) ranging patterns have been advocated. One hypothesis suggests that ranging patterns of mangabeys are largely a response to fruit availability, while the other hypothesis advocates that concerns of fruit availability are supplemented or overridden by concerns of fecal contamination and that the risk of parasite infection, especially during dry weather, determines their pattern of range use. In this 9 month study of mangabeys in the Kanyawara study area of Kibale National Park, mangabeys moved longer distances during the wet season than during the dry season. There were no seasonal differences in group spread, number of 50 by 50 m quadrats used, or in quadrat overlap between sequential sample periods. Intensity of quadrat use was closely related to the number of fruiting trees/lianas in the quadrats, irrespective of season. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that fruit availability is a main factor influencing mangabey ranging patterns. The results are not consistent with the hypothesis that mangabey ranging patterns largely reflect differential seasonal risk of parasite infection.