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Home range establishment and the mechanisms of philopatry among female Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii) at Tuanan


Ashbury, Alison M; Willems, Erik P; Utami Atmoko, Sri Suci; Saputra, Fajar; van Schaik, Carel P; van Noordwijk, Maria A (2020). Home range establishment and the mechanisms of philopatry among female Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii) at Tuanan. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 74(4):42.

Abstract

Female orangutans exhibit natal philopatry, living in stable home ranges that overlap with those of their maternal relatives. Using data collected from 2003 to 2017 at Tuanan in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia, we take a longitudinal approach to better understand the mechanisms of female philopatry and the factors that influence the home range establishment process of young female orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii). Data on movement and sociality were collected during nest-to-nest focal follows of individual orangutans; four young nulli/primiparous females, their three multiparous mothers, and seven other unrelated adult females living in the same area. Our results show that a young female goes through an ‘exploration phase’, beginning when she is an independent immature and lasting through her adolescence, characterized by an increase in home range size and distance travelled each day. This exploration is facilitated by high resource availability and association with adult males. A young female maintains a high degree of overlap with her natal range but gradually decrease the degree of overlap with her mother’s concurrent range. By the time she is a sexually active adolescent, a young female and her mother share as much overlap as a young female does with other related adult females, although she continues to associate more with her mother than with them, even after the birth of her first offspring. Our findings indicate that the high habitat productivity and high orangutan population density of Tuanan lead to a high degree of life-time site fidelity and overlap among maternal kin.

Abstract

Female orangutans exhibit natal philopatry, living in stable home ranges that overlap with those of their maternal relatives. Using data collected from 2003 to 2017 at Tuanan in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia, we take a longitudinal approach to better understand the mechanisms of female philopatry and the factors that influence the home range establishment process of young female orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii). Data on movement and sociality were collected during nest-to-nest focal follows of individual orangutans; four young nulli/primiparous females, their three multiparous mothers, and seven other unrelated adult females living in the same area. Our results show that a young female goes through an ‘exploration phase’, beginning when she is an independent immature and lasting through her adolescence, characterized by an increase in home range size and distance travelled each day. This exploration is facilitated by high resource availability and association with adult males. A young female maintains a high degree of overlap with her natal range but gradually decrease the degree of overlap with her mother’s concurrent range. By the time she is a sexually active adolescent, a young female and her mother share as much overlap as a young female does with other related adult females, although she continues to associate more with her mother than with them, even after the birth of her first offspring. Our findings indicate that the high habitat productivity and high orangutan population density of Tuanan lead to a high degree of life-time site fidelity and overlap among maternal kin.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Anthropology
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Life Sciences > Animal Science and Zoology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Animal Science and Zoology, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Language:English
Date:1 April 2020
Deposited On:25 Nov 2020 16:57
Last Modified:26 Nov 2020 21:00
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0340-5443
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00265-020-2818-1

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