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Keywords:

  • cercopithecines;
  • demography;
  • dispersal;
  • life history;
  • Lophocebus;
  • mangabeys;
  • solitary males

Abstract

We describe the movements and fates of 36 collared gray-cheeked male mangabeys (Lophocebus albigena) that resided in seven social groups in Kibale National Park, Uganda. The male mangabeys were captured, radiotagged, and then contacted regularly over a period of up to 8 years. Individuals varied considerably in how tightly they were associated with their groups. “Central” males were usually found in close spatial association with their own groups, but they sometimes visited others. “Peripheral” males were often found several hundred meters away from their own groups. Most adult males were characterized by repeated intergroup transfers, manifested as “visits” and “dispersals.” Visits were transfers that did not result in mating. The visits were brief, and ranged from a few minutes to a few days before the male returned to his previous group, moved on to another group, or returned to solitary life. The term “dispersal” refers to a transfer that results in mating, after which the male remains in the new group. Young males began to drift away from their natal groups in early subadulthood, but the timing of first associations with estrous females in other groups was highly variable. Natal dispersers were generally solitary for a month or more, and at least half moved into nonadjacent groups. Secondary dispersal was common. After they immigrated, adult males remained in a group for a median of 19 months before they emigrated again, with the probability of departure being approximately constant in time. Secondary dispersal was usually made into an adjacent group and lasted less than 7 days. Emigration and immigration were not seasonal, and males emigrated singly and apparently independently; however, immigrations were clumped in time, and male dispersal contributed to considerable heterogeneity of group composition. L. albigena dispersal patterns are intermediate between those described for Papio baboons and forest Cercopithecus, and models that predict demographic consequences of dispersal for baboons can be refined to apply to mangabeys. Am. J. Primatol. 66:331–349, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.