International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 288–310 | Cite as

Ranging Behavior and Resource Use by Lion-Tailed Macaques (Macaca silenus) in Selectively Logged Forests

  • Kumar Santhosh
  • Honnavalli N. Kumara
  • Avadhoot D. Velankar
  • Anindya Sinha


Physical and ecological factors such as season, rainfall, food availability, number of plant species eaten, intergroup encounters, and degree of terrestriality influence the daily path length (DPL) and home range use of animals. We examined whether these factors influenced DPL and home range use in a group of endemic lion-tailed macaques (Macaca silenus) in the selectively logged forests of Sirsi-Honnavara in the central Western Ghats Mountains of south India. We predicted that monthly rainfall, fruit tree density, number of plant species eaten, intergroup encounters, and terrestriality would correlate with DPL, and fruit tree density, overall tree density, and richness of fruiting tree species would correlate with home range use. We collected data on feeding ecology from scan sampling, and DPL and home range use by recording the geo-coordinates of the focal group with a handheld GPS during daily follows. We obtained 1230 h of observations over 24 mo between 2008 and 2011. We collected data on the density of food species and of all trees using the point-centered quarter method in 1-ha grid cells overlaid on the home range of the study group. Results showed that the mean monthly DPL correlated positively with the number of trees fruiting in a month and negatively with rainfall. Overall tree density and fruit tree density correlated positively with habitat use. These findings support the hypothesis that primary food resources are a major determinant of primate ranging patterns. Our results are also important for lion-tailed macaque conservation, in light of the pressure the habitat has been facing. We propose conservation action to include the important food species of lion-tailed macaques for habitat restoration by the local forest department.


Daily path length Feeding ecology Home range use Rainfall Resource availability 



We thank B. K. Singh, PCCF (Wildlife), Karnataka state, for permissions and his constant support and Conservators of Forests Vijay Mohan Raj, Manoj Kumar, and Yatish Kumar for their encouragement. This work was conducted with financial support from the Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India (Grant No. SR/FT/LS-010/2007), Rufford Small Grants, Primate Conservation Inc. and CEPF-ATREE. We thank the Director, Indian Meteorological Department for sharing rainfall data. We are also grateful to Dr. Srikanth Gunaga and Vigneshwar Hegde for plant species identification and critical suggestions and to Dr. S. Babu for help in data analysis. Finally, we thank Dr. P. A. Azeez, Director, Sálim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History, Coimbatore for all of his encouragement and support. We are sincerely indebted to editor-in-chief, Dr. Joanna Setchell, for critical comments that improved the manuscript and to anonymous reviewers for their comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kumar Santhosh
    • 1
  • Honnavalli N. Kumara
    • 1
    • 2
  • Avadhoot D. Velankar
    • 1
    • 4
  • Anindya Sinha
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Sálim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural HistoryCoimbatoreIndia
  2. 2.National Institute of Advanced Studies, Indian Institute of Science CampusBengaluruIndia
  3. 3.Nature Conservation FoundationMysureIndia
  4. 4.Manipal UniversityManipalIndia

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