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Keywords:

  • demography;
  • dynamics;
  • reproductive success;
  • emigrations-immigrations;
  • habitat influence

Abstract

The demography and dynamics of two groups, one living in an evergreen cedar-oak forest (Tigounatine) and the other, in a deciduous oak forest (Akfadou) in Algeria, were studied from 1982 to 1990. Group size fell within the range of other wild groups except for the Tigounatine group when it reached 88 individuals before splitting into three new independent groups. The structure of the studied groups, except one which was temporarily “one male,” was comparable to that of other groups of Barbary macaques. There were 43–50% of immatures on average depending on the group. The sex ratio (M:F) of the sexually mature animals was relatively balanced (1:0.9–1.2). The mean age of primiparous females was 5.5 years in Tigounatine and 5.3 in Akfadou; the rate of reproduction of sexually mature females was 0.56 and 0.63, respectively, while the infant mortality rate was 0.23 and 0.38, respectively. Great interannual variations occurred at both sites. The differences between natality and mortality induced a higher intrinsic mean annual increase for the Tigounatine group (14.6%) than for the Akfadou group (4.8%). The rate of intergroup transfers was not correlated with the increase in group size. Integration of male immigrants did not lead to the departure of resident males. Conversely, fission process promoted a substantial increase in the number of transfers in Tigounatine.

The period presenting the greatest risk of infant mortality was the summer dry period, in both habitats. Wide interannual variations occurred in the availability of two staple foods for monkeys: caterpillars and acorns. The cumulative effects of a low acorn supply during the gestation period (autumn) and a low caterpillar supply during the beginning of the following nursing period (spring) led to a temporary increase in infant mortality. © 1993 Wiley-Liss, Inc.