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Keywords:

  • Javan gibbon;
  • diet;
  • home range size;
  • altitude;
  • intraspecific variation

Abstract

Altitude influences forest structure and food abundance and distribution, which in turn affect primate feeding and ranging patterns. Javan gibbons (Hylobates moloch) are endemic to forests spanning a broad range of altitudes on Java, Indonesia. Most information about Javan gibbon behavior comes from studies in lowland forests, while the vast majority of wild gibbons remaining inhabit hill and lower montane forests. We studied the diets, activity patterns, and ranging behavior of three gibbon groups in hill/lower montane (950–1,100 m asl) forest in the Gunung Halimun-Salak National Park (GHSNP) from April 2008 to March 2009. The mean home range size was 37 ha and the mean daily path length was 1,180 m. The study groups spent 36% of time feeding, 41% resting, 15% traveling, 6% engaging in social behavior, and 2% in aggressive interactions. Fruit was the most important food (63% of feeding time) followed by leaves (24%), and flowers (12%). Our results suggest that Javan gibbons in higher elevation habitats have substantially larger home ranges than lowland populations, despite broad similarity in their activity budgets and diets. Conservation managers should consider the effects of altitude and habitat quality on gibbon ranging behavior when developing habitat corridors, selecting sites for translocation or reintroduction projects, and designating and managing protected areas. Am. J. Primatol. 73:270–280, 2011. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.