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Keywords:

  • social organization;
  • one-male unit;
  • monopolization;
  • Rhinopithecus bieti

Abstract

Data on social organization of two bands of black-and-white snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus bieti) were collected when the monkeys were crossing an open spot at Nanren and Bamei (northwest of Yunnan, China) using a sampling rule where individuals within one social unit are spatially closer to each other than individuals between social units. The typical pattern of social organization in this sample was multiple adult females (AFs) and their offspring with one adult male (AM) in a one-male unit (OMU), similar to that of many other colobines. In such units, on average one male is associated with 4.0 AFs and 2.5 of their offspring. Moreover, there are multimale/multifemale units and monogamous units besides OMUs. All bisexual units traveled together with at least one all-male unit as a cohesive band. In two bands of monkeys, 87% of AMs in bisexual units were within OMUs, 7.8% within monogamous units and 5.2% within multimale, multifemale units. In the Bamei band, 6.7% of AMs were in the all-male unit. The size of OMUs in the Nanren band was larger than that of the Bamei band, with more AFs and juveniles, which may be related to better conservation in the Nanren band's habitat. For the Nanren band, the average number of AFs in OMUs varied across time, increasing from 4.3 in 1994 to 5.1 in 2001, and then decreasing to 3.8 in 2005. This article suggests three possible explanations for this variation, but more data are needed for these hypotheses to be tested. Am. J. Primatol. 70:169–174, 2008. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.