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The Red Colobus MonkeysVariation in Demography, Behavior, and Ecology of Endangered Species$
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Thomas T. Struhsaker

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780198529583

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198529583.001.0001

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Demography: social group size and composition and population density

Demography: social group size and composition and population density

(p.45) Chapter 3 Demography: social group size and composition and population density
The Red Colobus Monkeys

Thomas T. Struhsaker

Oxford University Press

An understanding of the parameters affecting intra-and intertaxa demographic variation is critical to both the applied and theoretical evaluation of this variation, such as in the development of conservation management plans and hypotheses regarding primate evolution. Ecological correlates of demography include variables that are likely to reflect the abundance and spatial and temporal distribution of food, such as gross habitat type; forest patch size; extent of habitat degradation (usually human induced); tree species richness, size (dbh) and density of food trees; energetics as they relate to climate (altitude and latitude); phenology of food species; chemical composition of food (nutrients and secondary defense compounds); spatial distribution of food (dispersion indices); and potential competition (intragroup, intergroup, and interspecific). Social factors are also thought to influence demography. These appear to revolve around mating systems (e.g., mate competition), intraspecific competition for food within and between groups, defence against predators, and possibly defence against infanticide. This chapter summarizes previous work and presents new data demonstrating the likely importance of some of these variables in explaining the demographic variability within and between taxa. Particular emphasis will be given to the highly dynamic nature of red colobus demography and how the relative importance of specific variables that influence group size and composition change over time and space.

Keywords:   red colobus monkeys, demographic variability, group size, population density

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