||Seasonal Change in Diet and Habitat Use in Wild Mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx)
Hongo, Shun ,
Nakashima, Yoshihiro ,
Akomo-Okoue, Etienne FrançoisMindonga-Nguelet, Fred Loïque
International Journal of Primatology
48 , 2018-02 , Springer US
霊長類最大の群れで暮らす、野生マンドリルの食生活 --季節的な「食糧難」への柔軟な対応--. 京都大学プレスリリース. 2017-12-19.
Primates show various behavioral responses to resource seasonality, including changes in diet and habitat use. These responses may be particularly important for species living in large groups, owing to strong competition for resources. We investigated seasonality in diet and habitat use in wild mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx), which form some of the largest primate groups, in Moukalaba–Doudou National Park, Gabon. We used a fallen fruit census to measure fruit availability and camera trapping to measure visit frequency by mandrill groups on 11 line transects from January 2012 to November 2013, and collected mandrill feces for 25 months in 2009–2013 to assess their diets. Fruit availability varied seasonally, with a peak in December–February, and a scarce period in March–August. Relative volumes of fruit skin, pulp, and intact seeds in fecal remains varied with fruit availability, whereas feces contained as large a proportion of crushed seeds in the fruit-scarce season as in the fruit-peak season. The relative volumes of woody tissue (e.g., bark and roots) and the number of food types increased in the fruit-scarce season compared to in the fruit-peak season. Camera trapping revealed seasonality in habitat use. In fruit-rich seasons, mandrill visits were highly biased toward transects where fruit species that appeared in the majority of feces in a group were abundant. In contrast, in fruit-scarce seasons, visit frequencies were distributed more uniformly and the relationship with fruit availability was unclear. Our results suggest that mandrill groups in the study area respond to seasonal fruit scarcity by consuming seeds and woody tissue and by ranging more widely than in fruit-rich seasons. These flexible dietary and ranging behaviors may contribute to the maintenance of extremely large groups in mandrills.