Determinants of fecundity and reproductive success in captive vervet monkeys

Authors

  • Lynn A. Fairbanks PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles
    • Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, 760 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90024
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  • Michael T. McGuire

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles
    2. Sepulveda Veterans Administration Medical Center, Sepulveda, California
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Abstract

Between 1975 and 1983, adult female vervet monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops sabaeus) over 3.5 years of age, living in two undisturbed social groups in a captive colony in Sepulveda, California, have averaged 1.0 births per female year with a mean interbirth interval of 10.7 months. Increased fecundity did not result in decreased survival rates of offspring in this population. Fecundity was influenced by the mother's age and dominance rank. The primary factor in the age-fecundity relationship was the age at first birth, which varied from three to five years. High-ranking females contributed the most to the high rate of fecundity, with significantly shorter interbirth intervals, more births per female year, and more surviving infants compared to low-ranking females.

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