Winter ecology of the Arunachal macaque Macaca munzala in Pangchen Valley, western Arunachal Pradesh, northeastern India.

Mendiratta, Uttara and Kumar, Ajith and Mishra, Charudutt and Sinha, Anindya (2009) Winter ecology of the Arunachal macaque Macaca munzala in Pangchen Valley, western Arunachal Pradesh, northeastern India. American Journal of Primatology, 71 (11). pp. 939-947. ISSN 1098-2345

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Abstract: The newly described Arunachal macaque Macaca munzala occurs largely in sub-tropical to temperate environments at elevations of c. 1,800-3,000 m in Arunachal Pradesh, northeastern India. We studied its over-wintering strategy by comparing the diet, ranging, and behavior of a troop of 24 individuals during winter and spring (December 2005 to May 2006) through instantaneous scan sampling (3,002 records, 448 scans, 112 hr of observation). We also monitored the phenology of food plants. The macaques spent more time (41-66%) feeding in the winter than in spring (33-51%), whereas time spent moving and resting was greater in spring. The diet composed largely of plants, with animal matter being eaten rarely. The number of plant species in the diet increased from 18 to 25 whereas food types rose from 18 to 36 from winter to spring, respectively. Although only two species formed 75% of the winter diet, seven species comprised this proportion in spring. Availability of fruits and young leaves increased in spring; the troop moved more and utilized a larger part of its range during this time. Seasonal changes in behavior could be explained by the scarcity of food and the costs of thermoregulation in winter. Our study suggests that the Arunachal macaque inhabits a highly seasonal environment and has an over-wintering strategy that includes subsisting on a high-fiber diet by increasing the time spent feeding, and minimizing energy expenditure by reducing the time spent moving.
Item Type: Journal Paper
Additional Information: Copyright belongs to Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Keywords: Arunachal macaque; Macaca munzala; diet; activity budget; seasonality; food availability; fallback foods
Subjects: School of Natural and Engineering Sciences > Animal Behaviour
Divisions: Schools > Natural Sciences and Engineering
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2010 11:37
Last Modified: 08 May 2015 09:41
Official URL:
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    Funders: Wildlife Conservation Society—India Program; Whitley Fund for Nature; The Ford Foundation
    Projects: UNSPECIFIED
    DOI: 10.1002/ajp.20734

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