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International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 37, Issue 4–5, pp 586–604 | Cite as

Seasonal Variation in the Activity and Dietary Budgets of Cat Ba Langurs (Trachypithecus poliocephalus)

  • Rebecca Hendershott
  • Alison Behie
  • Benjamin Rawson
Article

Abstract

Primate activity budgets are dictated by food availability and distribution; thus primates living in seasonal environments must adapt their behaviors to accommodate fluctuations in resources. Cat Ba langurs (Trachypithecus poliocephalus), a Critically Endangered Asian colobine and a member of the limestone langur group (francoisi superspecies group within genus Trachypithecus), live only in fragmented and disturbed habitats on Cat Ba Island, northeastern Vietnam. This study aimed to assess the behaviors and diet of Cat Ba langurs by group, age, sex, and season. We predicted they would have high rates of inactivity and foraging, low rates of social behaviors, with seasonal variation that reflects an energy-maximizing strategy. We conducted behavioral observations through scan sampling over an 11-month period and found that Cat Ba langurs spent a significant portion of their day inactive (57 %) followed by foraging (18 %), socializing (13 %), locomoting (10 %), and engaging in “other” behaviors (2 %). Their diet was made up primarily of leaves (83 %) followed by flowers (8 %), fruit (6 %), and stems (3 %). We found groups to differ in diet and activity, which is likely owing to differences in demographics and home range between groups. Seasonally, the animals ate more leaves and spent more time foraging in the dry season than the wet season, suggesting that they are energy maximizers. Cat Ba langurs have activity and dietary budgets similar to those of other limestone langurs, and respond to a presumed seasonal fluctuation in food availability similarly.

Keywords

Activity budget Diet Limestone langur Seasonality 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study would not have been possible without the support and cooperation of the Cat Ba Langur Conservation Project and Cat Ba National Park. Thank you to Mr. Nguyen Cam (Cat Ba National Park ranger) for daily boat driving and langur spotting. Mr. Neahga Leonard (Cat Ba Langur Conservation Project Manager) provided on-the-ground support, for which we are very grateful. Mr. Nguyen The Cuong (Hai Phong Province Coordinator for Fauna & Flora International) assisted in translations between the authors and the National Park. Dr. Teresa Newman in the Statistical Consulting Unit of ANU provided help in analyses. We would like to thank Professor Colin Groves, Dr. Joanna Setchell, and two anonymous reviewers for valuable feedback on earlier drafts of this manuscript. Australian National University Research Training Scheme funding, Primate Action Fund (PAF 14-15; CI Contract 1000575), WildInvest, and Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (Grant 64587) provided grants. Hai Phong People’s Committee and Cat Ba National Park provided research permits.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare they have no conflicts of interest.

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Archaeology and AnthropologyAustralian National UniversityActonAustralia
  2. 2.Fauna & Flora International’s Vietnam ProgrammeHanoiVietnam

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