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Social factors enhancing foraging success of a wild group of Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) in a patchy food environment

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We evaluated the effects of social factors and food quality on patch use by a wild group of Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) that experienced no inter-group feeding competition or predation risk. We obtained the following results: (1) Food patch depletion and within-group scramble competition for food apparently did not affect patch use. (2) Within-group contest competition (aggressive interactions related to social-dominance rank) also did not strongly affect patch use. (3) The number of co-feeders in the same patch consistently showed positive effects on patch use, while food quality did not have consistent effects. These results suggest that the presence of co-feeders enhances foraging success in a patchy food environment.

Affiliations: 1: Graduate School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan; 2: Field Science Center for Northern Biosphere, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan


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