Sleeping sites of black-and-white snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus bieti) at Baima Snow Mountain, China


Wen Xiao, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 32 Jiaochang Donglu, Kunming, Yunnan 650223, China. Tel: +86-871-5199178; Fax: +86-871-5191823


Data on sleeping sites of a group of black-and-white snub-nosed monkeys Rhinopithecus bieti (Colobinae, Primates) were collected between April–July and September–December 2001 to try to determine the factors affecting site selection at Nanren (99°04′E, 28°34′N, Baima Snow Mountain, China). Sleeping trees were tall emergents (27.5±3.2 m) with large diameter at breast height (57.9±16.9 cm) and broad crown diameters (6.3±1.4 m), and significantly larger than other trees. The use of large sleeping trees could provide effective shelters from attacks of terrestrial and aerial predators, heavy snow and rain. Sleeping sites were changed nightly and located at significantly lower altitudes in winter months than in other seasons, which might be a thermoregulatory adaptation or related to snow covering. Such sites tended to be at the middle of sun-oriented slopes, possibly trading off predator avoidance and foraging efficiency.