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Effects of Yearly Change in Nut Fruiting on Autumn Home-range Use by Macaca fuscata on Kinkazan Island, Northern Japan

Y, Tsuji and S, Takatsuki

Temporal changes in food availability affect foraging success and ultimately reproductive success of animals. They include both seasonal and annual changes. Although many researchers have investigated food availability and the corresponding ranging behavior of primates, studies of yearly changes have been limited. We studied the effects of the fruiting of nuts of Fagus crenata, Zelkova serrata, and Torreya nucifera on the ranging behavior of Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) in autumn on Kinkazan Island, northern Japan, for 5 yr between 2000 and 2005 (excluding 2003). We divided the study area (3.3 km2) into 100 * 100-m quadrats to assess the distribution of nut-rich quadrats that contained high densities of nut-producing species. The home ranges of the monkeys contained more nut-rich quadrats than expected, and the difference was significant for 3 of 5 yr. Autumn home-range use was also affected by the distribution of nut production, although the effect differed by year: monkeys frequently used nut-rich quadrats in a Zelkova-year (2000) and in 1 Torreya-year (2001), whereas they nonselectively used nut-rich quadrats in 2 Fagus-years (2002 and 2005) and in another Torreya-year (2004). Thus, Japanese macaques flexibly change their autumn ranging behavior according to yearly changes in distribution of nut production.

Int. J. Primatol. 30: 169-181


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