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64. Hanya G, Yoshihiro S, Hayaishi S, Takahata Y. (2020). Ranging patterns of Japanese macaques in the coniferous forest of Yakushima: home range shift and travel rate. American Journal of Primatology 82: e23185. DOI: 10.1002/ajp.23185.

Ranging is one of the most important behavioral adaptations for coping with seasonally fluctuating food and thermal conditions. We studied the ranging patterns, in particular home range shift and travel rate, of Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) in the coniferous forest of Yakushima by tracking a group for 17 months. We also supplemented our data with records collected every August over a 5-year annual census. The macaque group used the eastern part of their home range from May to September and the western part during the rest of the year. The eastern part of the home range was largely primary forest in the national park, and the altitude was higher than in the western part. When they used the western part, the macaques ate more herbs and fruits from small-sized trees, the availability of which was higher in the logged forest. This east-west home range shift occurred repeatedly over multiple years. A neighboring group occupied the western part of the focal group’s home range in summer, which the focal group did not use in that season. Both temperature and diet affected seasonal changes in the monthly average travel rate. Animals need more energy for thermoregulation when the temperature is low, so the macaques decreased their ranging efforts to save energy at times of low temperature. They increased their ranging distance to eat fungi, since their encounters with this food would increase with the total distance walked. They also increased their travel rate when eating flowers, which had higher food patch (tree) density than other foods such as fruits. The data supported the hypothesis that the macaques capitalize on habitat heterogeneity in a seasonally fluctuating habitat by shifting their home range and modifying their travel rate.

Key words: home range, feeding strategy, mycophagy, seasonality, ranging

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<Last update: September 19, 2020>