Primates

pp 1–12

Intergroup variation in robbing and bartering by long-tailed macaques at Uluwatu Temple (Bali, Indonesia)

  • Fany Brotcorne
  • Gwennan Giraud
  • Noëlle Gunst
  • Agustín Fuentes
  • I. Nengah Wandia
  • Roseline C. Beudels-Jamar
  • Pascal Poncin
  • Marie-Claude Huynen
  • Jean-Baptiste Leca
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10329-017-0611-1

Cite this article as:
Brotcorne, F., Giraud, G., Gunst, N. et al. Primates (2017). doi:10.1007/s10329-017-0611-1

Abstract

Robbing and bartering (RB) is a behavioral practice anecdotally reported in free-ranging commensal macaques. It usually occurs in two steps: after taking inedible objects (e.g., glasses) from humans, the macaques appear to use them as tokens, returning them to humans in exchange for food. While extensively studied in captivity, our research is the first to investigate the object/food exchange between humans and primates in a natural setting. During a 4-month study in 2010, we used both focal and event sampling to record 201 RB events in a population of long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis), including four neighboring groups ranging freely around Uluwatu Temple, Bali (Indonesia). In each group, we documented the RB frequency, prevalence and outcome, and tested the underpinning anthropogenic and demographic determinants. In line with the environmental opportunity hypothesis, we found a positive qualitative relation at the group level between time spent in tourist zones and RB frequency or prevalence. For two of the four groups, RB events were significantly more frequent when humans were more present in the environment. We also found qualitative partial support for the male-biased sex ratio hypothesis [i.e., RB was more frequent and prevalent in groups with higher ratios of (sub)adult males], whereas the group density hypothesis was not supported. This preliminary study showed that RB is a spontaneous, customary (in some groups), and enduring population-specific practice characterized by intergroup variation in Balinese macaques. As such, RB is a candidate for a new behavioral tradition in this species.

Keywords

Token exchange Anthropogenic influences Demographic correlates Cultural behavior Balinese macaques 

Supplementary material

Supplementary material 1. This video clip illustrates a typical RB sequence displayed by an adult male macaque at Uluwatu Temple (Bali, Indonesia). The sequence occurs in three steps. First the macaque approaches a female temple visitor from behind, jumps on her shoulder and takes her eyeglasses. Then, the macaque stays put while handling the eyeglasses and looking around. Second, a male tourist tries, unsuccessfully, to exchange the eyeglasses for a non-food item (i.e., an eyeglasses case). Third, the macaque moves toward a male member of temple staff who offers a food item (i.e., a cracker) to the macaque holding the eyeglasses in his mouth. Then, the macaque drops almost instantaneously the eyeglasses and steps aside to consume the food reward (i.e., successful bartering). (MPG 37140 kb)

10329_2017_611_MOESM2_ESM.tif (17.1 mb)
Supplementary material 2. Home ranges (Kernel 95%) of the four groups of long-tailed macaques (Riting, Celagi, Melum, Gading) at Uluwatu Temple in 2010. (TIFF 17510 kb)

Funding information

Funder NameGrant NumberFunding Note
Fonds De La Recherche Scientifique - FNRS
  • FC 83476
Fondation Belge de la Vocation
    Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (CA)
    • RGPIN-2015-06034
    Rufford Foundation
    • 12.03.10
    International Primatological Society
      Arts and Science Faculty, University of Lethbridge
      • 14460
      American Society of Primatologists

        Copyright information

        © Japan Monkey Centre and Springer Japan 2017

        Authors and Affiliations

        • Fany Brotcorne
          • 1
          • 2
          • 5
        • Gwennan Giraud
          • 1
        • Noëlle Gunst
          • 2
        • Agustín Fuentes
          • 3
        • I. Nengah Wandia
          • 4
        • Roseline C. Beudels-Jamar
          • 5
        • Pascal Poncin
          • 1
        • Marie-Claude Huynen
          • 1
        • Jean-Baptiste Leca
          • 2
        1. 1.Behavioural Biology UnitUniversity of LiègeLiègeBelgium
        2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of LethbridgeLethbridgeCanada
        3. 3.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of Notre DameNotre DameUSA
        4. 4.Primate Research CenterUniversitas UdayanaDenpasarIndonesia
        5. 5.Conservation Biology UnitRoyal Belgian Institute of Natural SciencesBrusselsBelgium

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