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Comparing methods for assessing chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) party size: observations, camera traps and bed counts from a savanna-woodland mosaic in the Issa valley, Tanzania

Vink, DN, Stewart, FA and Piel, AK Comparing methods for assessing chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) party size: observations, camera traps and bed counts from a savanna-woodland mosaic in the Issa valley, Tanzania. International Journal of Primatology. ISSN 0164-0291 (Accepted)

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Abstract

Studying animal grouping behavior is important for understanding the causes and consequences of sociality and has implications for conservation. Chimpanzee (Pantroglodytes) party size is often assessed by counting individuals or extracted indirectlyfrom camera trap footage or the number of nests. Little is known, however, about
consistency across methods for estimating party size. We collected party size data for wild chimpanzees in the Issa valley, western Tanzania, using direct observations,camera traps and nest counts over six years (2012-2018). We compared mean monthly party size estimates calculated using each method and found that estimates
derived from direct observations were weakly positively correlated with those derived from camera traps. Estimates from nest counts were not significantly correlated with either direct observations or camera traps. Overall observed party size was significantly larger than that estimated from both camera traps and nest counts. In both the dry and wet seasons however, observed party size was not significantly larger than
nest party size. Finally, overall party size and wet season party size estimated from camera traps were significantly smaller than nest party size, but this was not the case in the dry season. Our results reveal how data collection methods influence party size estimates in unhabituated chimpanzees, and have implications for comparative
analysis within and across primate communities. Specifically, future work must consider how estimates were calculated before we can reliably investigate environmental influences on primate behavior.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0608 Zoology
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (new Sep 19)
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2020 13:19
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2020 13:30
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12091

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