Birth seasonality and interbirth interval of captive Rhinopithecus bieti

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Abstract

This study, which is based on 10 years of birth records, shows that black-and-white snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus bieti) in captivity display marked birth seasonality. The birth season starts in December and ends in June, with a peak from March to May, and a median birth date of April 10. More male infants than female ones are born in captivity. More males were born at the Kunming Institute of Zoology (KIZ) than at the Kunming Zoo (KZ). Of 17 interbirth intervals (IBIs), 29% were from females that had lost an infant at <1 year of age or experienced stillbirth, and 71% were from females whose infant survived more than 1 year. The mean IBI for the former group (428±SD 87 days) was significantly shorter than that for the latter group (706±71 days), in agreement with reports of other Colobine species. Infant mortality was lower in captivity than in the field, which may reflect the relatively stable food availability and climate in captivity compared to the harsh conditions in the wild. Am. J. Primatol. 68:1–7, 2006. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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