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Social organization and space use of a wild mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx) group

Brockmeyer T., Kappeler P.M., Willaume E., Benoit L., Mboumba S., Charpentier M.J.E.. 2015. American Journal of Primatology, 77 : p. 1036-1048.

Mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx) are enigmatic Old World primates whose social organization and ecology remain poorly known. Previous studies indicated, for example, that groups are composed of only adult females and their young or that several units composed of one adult male and several females make up larger permanent social units. Here, we present the first data on group composition and male ranging patterns from the only habituated wild mandrill group and examine how home range size and daily path length varied with environmental and demographic factors over a 15-month period. Our study site is located in southern Gabon where we followed the group on a daily basis, collecting data on presence, ranging, behavior, and parasite load of its individual members. Throughout the study, the group was made up of about 120 individuals, including several non-natal and natal adult and sub-adult males. One-male units were never observed. The mandrills traveled an estimated 0.44¿6.50?km/day in a home range area of 866.7?ha. Exploratory analyses revealed that precipitation, the number of adult males present, and the richness of protozoan parasites were all positively correlated with daily path length. These results clarify the social system of mandrills and provide first insights into the factors that shape their ranging patterns. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : mâle; génétique animale; comportement animal; distribution spatiale; locomotion; Écologie animale; structure sociale; primate; gabon; mandrillus sphinx

Thématique : Ecologie animale

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