Preliminary study of intragroup interaction in male bonnet macaques (Macaca radiata)
Ces, Ii Sc
Harish Prakash, Vijaya Kumara, B.B. Hosetti, Joseph J Erinjery, Mewa Singh
Group living increases survival and reproductive success of the individual. However, primate group sizes show variation within species and are determined by the ecological conditions its population encounters. Such variation may lead to complex intra and intergroup dynamics. Therefore, I hoped to understand how adult male bonnet macaques in multi-male groups (of varying adult male:female ratio) interact with fellow group members during the non-breeding season.
The study was conducted in Shimoga Dist., Karnataka from February to May 2012. 1-0 focal sampling was used for recording behavioural observation of 6 adult males from 2 groups (Group I- 4 and Group II- 2). During sampling, the focal individual was observed continuously for 10 min (divided into 30 intervals of 20 seconds each). Occurrences of activities such as, foraging, locomotion, passivity, social grooming, self-groom, etc., were recorded during the interval.
Most dyadic interaction among individuals occurred through social grooming. On an average adult male bonnet macaques spend close to one-fifth of their time on this activity, but individual variation exists. For example, in the group comprising of four individual males one individual spent 27 percent of its activity period on social grooming, while others spent 10.5, 17 and 6 percent. Additionally, intergroup variation in grooming pattern was also apparent.
Conservation hopes to protect and manage populations. However, individuals/groups affect population with their idiosyncrasies and life histories. Therefore, this preliminary study hopes to interpret group dynamics of primates from the context of intragroup interaction among male bonnet macaques