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Sleeping site selection and presleep behavior in wild pigtailed macaques

Authors

  • Aurélie Albert,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Sciences and Gestion of Environment, Behavioral Biology Unit, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium
    • Faculty of Sciences, Department of Sciences and Gestion of Environment, Behavioral Biology Unit, University of Liège, 22 Quai Van Beneden, 4020 Liège, Belgium
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  • Tommaso Savini,

    1. Department of Sciences and Gestion of Environment, Behavioral Biology Unit, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium
    2. Conservation Ecology Program, School of Bioresources and Technology, King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi, Bangkok, Thailand
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  • Marie-Claude Huynen

    1. Department of Sciences and Gestion of Environment, Behavioral Biology Unit, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium
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Abstract

Several factors are likely to control sleeping site selection and presleep behavior in nonhuman primates, including predation risk and location of food resources. We examined the effects of these factors on the sleeping behavior of northern pigtailed macaques (Macaca leonina). While following a troop living in the surroundings of the Visitor Center of Khao Yai National Park (Thailand), we recorded the physical characteristics and location of each sleeping site, tree, the individuals' place in the tree, posture, and behavior. We collected data for 154 nights between April 2009 and November 2010. The monkeys preferred tall sleeping trees (20.9 ± SD 4.9 m) and high sleeping places (15.8 ± SD 4.3 m), which may be an antipredator strategy. The choice of sleeping trees close to the last (146.7 ± SD 167.9 m) or to the first (150.4 ± SD 113.0 m) feeding tree of the day may save energy and decrease predation risk when monkeys are searching for food. Similarly, the choice of sleeping sites close to human settlements eases the access to human food during periods of fruit scarcity. Finally, the temporal pattern of use of sleeping sites, with a preference for four of the sleeping sites but few reuses during consecutive nights, may be a trade-off between the need to have several sleeping sites (decreasing detection by predators and travel costs to feeding sites), and the need to sleep in well-known sites (guaranteeing a faster escape in case of predator attack). Am. J. Primatol. 73:1222–1230, 2011. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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