An examination of factors potentially influencing birth distributions in golden snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus roxellana)

Zuofu Xiang, Wanji Yang, Xiaoguang Qi, Hui Yao, Cyril C. Grueter, Paul A. Garber, Baoguo Li, Ming Li

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Many species of primates are considered seasonal breeders, but the set of factors, such as food availability, day length and temperature, that influence the timing of reproductive events for both wild and captive individuals remains unclear. Here, we examine the role of factors in shaping breeding patterns in Rhinopithecus roxellana, a temperate colobine primate. Weused circular statistics to describe and compare the patterns of reproductive seasonality among individuals in 13 captive groups and two free ranging but provisioned groups at various locations throughout China. Almost 90% of births occurred in March, April and May in adult females residing in both free ranging (n = 131) and captive groups (n=407). Births occurred principally in 2-4 months prior to the peak of food availability, while conceptions occurred in 1-2 months after the peak of food availability in free ranging but provisioned groups. Day length (latitude) had a significant effect on the timing of reproduction. However, females that experienced a wide variation of temperature between the lowest and highest monthly average temperature had a later conception date. These results support that day length and temperature might be factor influencing the timing of reproductive activity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere2892
    Number of pages21
    JournalPEERJ
    Volume2017
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2017

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