Energetic costs of territorial boundary patrols by wild chimpanzees

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Abstract

Chimpanzees are well known for their territorial behavior. Males who belong to the same community routinely patrol their territories, occasionally making deep incursions into those of their neighbors. Male chimpanzees may obtain several fitness benefits by participating in territorial boundary patrols, but patrolling is also likely to involve fitness costs. Patrollers risk injury or even death, and patrols may be energetically costly and may involve opportunity costs. Although territorial patrols have been reported at all long-term chimpanzee study sites, quantitative data on their energetic costs have not previously been available. I evaluated the energy costs of patrolling for male chimpanzees at Ngogo, Kibale National Park, Uganda during 14 months of observation. In 29 patrols and matched control periods, I recorded the distances covered and time spent traveling and feeding by chimpanzees. I found that male chimpanzees covered longer distances, spent more time traveling, and spent less time feeding during patrols than during control periods. These results support the hypothesis that chimpanzees incur energetic costs while patrolling and suggest that ecological factors may constrain the ability of chimpanzees to patrol. Am. J. Primatol. 72:93–103, 2010. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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