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Grouping behavior of Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelii) and Tapanuli orangutans (Pongo tapanuliensis) living in forest with low fruit abundance

Roth, TS, Rianti, P, Fredriksson, GM, Wich, SA and Nowak, MG (2020) Grouping behavior of Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelii) and Tapanuli orangutans (Pongo tapanuliensis) living in forest with low fruit abundance. American Journal of Primatology. ISSN 0275-2565

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Abstract

In contrast to the African great apes, orangutans (Pongo spp.) are semisolitary: Individuals are often on their own, but form aggregations more often than expected by chance. These temporary aggregations provide social benefits such as mating opportunities. When fruit availability is high, costs of aggregating should be lower, because competition is less pronounced. Therefore, average party size is expected to be higher when fruit availability is high. This hypothesis would also explain why orangutans in highly fruit‐productive habitats on Sumatra are more gregarious than in the usually less productive habitats of Borneo. Here, we describe the aggregation behavior of orangutans in less productive Sumatran habitats (Sikundur and Batang Toru), and compare results with those of previously surveyed field sites. Orangutans in Sikundur were more likely to form parties when fruit availability was higher, but the size of daily parties was not significantly affected by fruit availability. With regard to between‐site comparisons, average party sizes of females and alone time of parous females in Sikundur and Batang Toru were substantially lower than those for two previously surveyed Sumatran sites, and both fall in the range of values for Bornean sites. Our results indicate that the assessment of orangutans on Sumatra as being more social than those on Borneo needs revision. Instead, between‐site differences in sociality seem to reflect differences in average fruit availability.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0608 Zoology, 1601 Anthropology
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (new Sep 19)
Publisher: Wiley
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2020 10:06
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2020 10:15
DOI or Identification number: 10.1002/ajp.23123
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12592

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