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Title: Ranging patterns and resource use in samango monkeys
Author: Parker, E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7964 2910
Awarding Body: Liverpool John Moores University
Current Institution: Liverpool John Moores University
Date of Award: 2019
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Loss and fragmentation of habitat can have significant negative consequences for forest-dwelling species. Understanding how a species uses space in an increasingly fragmented and human-dominated landscape is important to determine the extent to which they can persist in such landscapes. How animals use space is largely determined by the availability of resources and the risk of predation both across time and space and is highly scale-dependent. The aim of this study was to investigate the factors that influence space use at the species level using resource selection functions, at the group level by exploring ranging patterns, and at the individual level by exploring the role of predation risk on the spatial variation in behaviour. Focal observations were collected from two well-habituated groups of samango monkey (Cercopithecus albogularis schwarzi) at the Primate and Predator Project (PPP), as part of the Lajuma Research Centre, South Africa. In addition, instantaneous scan observations from PPP's historic dataset were used to explore the ranging patterns and resource use of samango monkeys. Space use at both the species and group levels was largely determined by access to highly productive habitat, particularly tall-canopy, indigenous mistbelt forest. At the individual level, perceived predation risk strongly influenced the spatial variation in behaviour, whilst other measures of risk such as habitat visibility, canopy height and distance from sleep site were also important. Distance from sleep site was also associated with an increase in anxiety, indicated by self-directed scratching, in samangos. However, samangos appeared to manage risk across their home range by varying the number of nearby neighbours, thereby sharing the vigilance load between individuals. The findings of this study highlight that space use is highly scale-dependent, and that the spatial and temporal distribution of resources and predation risk largely determines how animals use space at these different scales. Prioritising resources at different scales is therefore central to the development of efficient management plans to ensure the persistence of species in increasingly fragmented and human-dominated landscapes.
Supervisor: Koyama, N. ; Hill, R. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: QL Zoology