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Urbanisation as an important driver of nocturnal primate sociality

Scheun, J, Greeff, D and Nowack, J (2019) Urbanisation as an important driver of nocturnal primate sociality. Primates, 60 (4). pp. 375-381. ISSN 0032-8332

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Urbanisation is an important factor driving species and biodiversity decline. Although habitat alterations can be detrimental for species, studies have shown that many diurnal primates are able to adapt to novel environments. Little is known about the ability of nocturnal primates to survive within the urban environment. To increase our understanding on this topic, we present ad libitum observations on group movement and sociality from urban and rural populations of the African lesser bushbaby (Galago moholi) in South Africa from 2014-2018. 20 Our data show considerable changes in the social dynamics within urban bushbaby populations. In contrast to rural individuals, which spent the majority of their activity period solitarily or in pairs, urban individuals displayed a larger degree of sociality throughout their active period, forming groups of up to 10 individuals. Furthermore, urban individuals spent less time moving around, while increasing social (communication/pair-grooming), foraging and feeding behaviour. Urban individuals fed on a range of different anthropogenic and natural food sources (insects/gum/nectar) compared to their rural counterparts. In summary, urban bushbabies showed a large degree of behavioural plasticity, with changes in social dynamics and structure frequently observed. Such alterations in sociality, along with the ability to utilise different feeding resources, may explain the ability of the species to survive within a highly altered environment.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0608 Zoology, 0603 Evolutionary Biology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (from Sep 19)
Publisher: Springer
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2019 08:55
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 08:41
DOI or ID number: 10.1007/s10329-019-00725-0
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11536
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