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Durham University

Department of Anthropology

Profile

Publication details for Professor Russell Hill

Parker, E., Hill, R.A., Allan, A.T.L., Howlett, C. & Koyama, N.F. (2020). Influence of food availability, plant productivity and indigenous forest use on ranging behavior of the endangered samango monkey (Cercopithecus albogularis schwarzi), in the Soutpansberg Mountains, South Africa. Integrative Zoology

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

Understanding the determinants of ranging patterns in species susceptible to habitat fragmentation is fundamental for assessing their long‐term adaptability to an increasingly human‐dominated landscape. The aim of this study was to determine and compare the influence of ground‐based food availability, remotely sensed plant productivity, and indigenous forest use on the ranging patterns of the endangered samango monkey (Cercopithecus albogularis schwarzi). We collected monthly ranging data on two habituated samango monkey groups, from February 2012 to December 2016, from our field site in the Soutpansberg Mountains, South Africa. We used linear mixed models to explore how food availability, plant productivity and indigenous forest use influenced monthly ranging patterns, whilst controlling for group size, number of sample days and daylength. We found that as more areas of high plant productivity (derived from remotely sensed EVI) were incorporated into the ranging area, both total and core monthly ranging areas decreased. In addition, both total ranging area and mean monthly daily path length decreased as more indigenous forest was incorporated into the ranging area. However, we found no effect of either ground‐based food availability or remotely sensed plant productivity on ranging patterns. Our findings demonstrate the behavioral flexibility in samango monkey ranging, as samangos can utilize matrix habitat during periods of low productivity but are ultimately dependent on access to indigenous forest patches. In addition, we highlight the potential of using remotely sensed areas of high plant productivity to predict ranging patterns in a small ranging, forest‐dwelling guenon, over ground‐based estimates of food availability.