Feeding competition inferred from patch depletion in a supergroup of Rwenzori black and white colobus (Colobus angolensis ruwenzori) in Rwanda

Alexandra Miller, Debra S Judge, Grace Uwingeneye, Dieudonne Ndayishimiye, Beth A. Kaplin, Cyril Grueter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Competition for food is often a cost associated with living in a group, and can occur in an indirect (scramble) or direct (contest) form. We investigated feeding competition in a supergroup of Rwenzori black-and-white colobus monkeys (Colobus angolensis ruwenzorii) in Rwanda, with the aim of establishing whether freedom from scramble competition allows these monkeys to form supergroups. We used the patch depletion method, measuring intake rate coupled with movement rate, to assess if food patches become depleted over the occupancy period. Resource depletion was evident when the colobus fed on young leaves, but not when feeding on mature leaves. Scramble competition was inferred from a negative correlation between group size and change in intake rate over patch occupancy. Between-group contest competition was inferred from displacement from patches. Although feeding competition exists for select resources, limited competition for mature leaves may enable Rwenzori colobus to live in a supergroup of hundreds of individuals in this montane forest.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731-760
JournalBehaviour
Volume157
Issue number8-9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

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