Living with males: benefits and costs to females of resident males in Colobus vellerosus

Forskningsoutput: AvhandlingMasteruppsats


Only in primates is permanent male-female association the most widespread social structure of all. The continuous presence of resident males in the social group can have significant impacts on female fitness, both in forms of costs and benefits. In this study I investigate particular short-term benefits and costs of resident males to females in a population of ursine colobus (Colobus vellerosus). I hypothesise that for females permanent association with males result in certain benefits and certain costs, exceedingthose provided or imposed by other females. The results indicate that female derive greater benefits from males than from females during intergroup encounters and in the form of vigilance since males were the main participants in intergroup encounter and were more vigilant than females. I could not confirm any type of behaviour employed by resident males that is costly to females. However, the rarity and subtleness of some costly male behaviours imply that more data is needed before making a conclusion on their absence or occurrence in this population and I purpose that herding behaviour could occur at my study site. Moreover, multi-male groups (MM-groups) showed higher rates of vigilance than single-male groups (SM-groups) and had a tendency to experiencing fewer intergroup encounters than SM-groups. I interpret the former as a result of the demanding social conditions in the MM-groups. The latter indicate that females may benefit from MM-group living through a decrease in intergroup encounters.
Tilldelande institution
  • Södertörn University
StatusPublished - 2009
Externt publiceradJa


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