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Temporal and spatial patterns in blue duikers Philatomba monticola and red duikers Cephalophus natalensis

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Abstract

Forest duikers spend a large proportion of the day engaged in sedentary behaviour. Both species were most active shortly after dawn and just before dusk and were relatively more active in habitats of higher quality. Though home-range boundaries were dynamic (changing slightly during the year), core areas were permanent and remained fixed.

Blue duikers showed exclusive family home ranges with no overlap between neighbours, for this species home range and territory are synonymous. Red duiker home-range overlap varied greatly (up to 100% in some cases) indicating the absence of territoriality. Core areas in the home range of both duiker species were usually associated with bedsites. In blue duiker, home ranges and core areas were fixed all year with no overlap between neighbours, while home ranges and core areas of red duikers overlapped extensively. Temporal separation in red duikers is suggested between some individuals and not others.

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