Ranging

In RNP, the home range of H. g. griseus groups measures 15-20 ha (Grassi, 2001; Overdorff, et al. 1997; Tan, 1999, 2000). Groups are highly territorial; both adult males and adult females have been observed to actively defend their territory against neighboring conspecific groups. Territorial defense behaviors may include scent-marking, vocal display, and chasing. In the proximity of sympatric H. aureus and H. simus, H. g. griseus behaves indifferently (Tan, 2000).

Figure 1. Activity budget of three sympatric Hapalemur species in Talatakely, Ranomafana National Park.

H. g. alaotrensis groups are territorial and occupy small home ranges varying in size from 0.6 to 8 ha (Mutschler, 1999a; Mutschler and Tan, 2003; Nievergelt et al., 1998). Currently, no such information is available for the other two subspecies.

In Talatakely, RNP, H. aureus groups have home ranges averaging about 30 ha (Tan, 1999, 2000). Like H. g. griseus, they are also extremely territorial. In fact, they are the only Hapalemur species that produce complex, sex-specific vocal duets as a form of territorial defense against conspecifics. H. aureus individuals are unperturbed around H. g. griseus but have been observed to chase H. simus (C. Tan, unpublished data).

The home range of H.. simus in Talatakely, RNP, encompasses over 60 ha (Tan, 1999, 2000). Whereas H. g. griseus and H. aureus utilize their home ranges more or less evenly, H. simus shows intensive use of core areas. Specifically, areas dominated by the giant bamboo are heavily utilized whereas other areas are mostly used during travel (Tan, 2000). Because only one group of H. simus is present in Talatakely, it is unclear whether or not the animals are territorial against conspecifics.

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