Reproductive Parameters of Female Macaca mulatta tcheliensis in the Temperate Forest of Mount Taihangshan, Jiyuan, China

Authors


  • Conflicts of interest: None.

Correspondence to: Ji-Qi Lu, Institute of Biodiversity and Ecology, Zhengzhou University, 100 Kexue Road, Zhengzhou, Henan 450001, China. E-mail: lujq@zzu.edu.cn

Abstract

The remaining population of Macaca mulatta tcheliensis, approximately 3,000 individuals, is currently confined to the southern region of Mount Taihangshan, northern China. Using data collected from February 2003 to November 2012, we examined female reproductive characteristics in a seasonally food supplemented free-ranging group of M. m. tcheliensis (Wangwu 1, WW-1), inhabiting the Taishangshan Macaque National Nature Reserve (TMNNR), Jiyuan, China. We tested a series of predictions regarding the degree to which M. m. tcheliensis is best considered as a “strict income breeder,” a “relaxed income breeder” or a “capital breeder.” This group was comprised 18 adult females who produced 64 infants over the 10-year study period. In our study group (WW-1) adult female macaques gave birth to an average of 0.71 ± 0.26 infants per year. Infant mortality was 13.4 ± 19.3%. The age at first birth for mothers was 4.9 ± 0.5 years old. The mean inter-birth interval (IBI) was 15.4 ± 4.9 months. Based on the fact M. m. tcheliensis is a strictly seasonal breeder (76.6% of births occurred between April and May) with infants born during a time of the year when food availability appears to be high, and that their IBI is intermediate in length compared with other macaque populations, our results suggest that M. m. tcheliensis follows a birth pattern most consistent with a “relaxed income breeder” strategy. Am. J. Primatol. 75:605-612, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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