Twenty-three-year demographic history of the Affenberg Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata), a translocated semi-free-ranging group in southern Austria

Lena S. Pflüger, Katharina E. Pink, Bernard Wallner, Claudia Radler, Markus Dorner, Michael A. Huffman

Demographic studies on translocated primate groups provide a unique opportunity to study population dynamics, social strategies, and reproductive parameters of a species adapting to new environments. In 1996, 38 Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) of the Minoo-H group (Osaka Prefecture, Japan) were translocated to Affenberg Landskron, a four-hectare naturally forested park in southern Austria. By January 2020, the population had increased to 160 individuals, and a total of 223 births were recorded. Births peaked in late April to late May, and the timing was influenced by neither offspring sex nor parity status of the mother. Infant mortality was low (8.97%), mostly involving primiparous females, and the average interbirth intervals were shorter following the death of an infant (1.10 years) than a surviving infant (1.77 years). Females rarely had offspring with the same males repeatedly, and the reproductive success among males declined with increasing years of presence in the group. The main aspects of reproduction, mortality, and mate choice are consistent with published data on natural and provisioned populations in Japan and those translocated to other countries. The life expectancy for females, however, was relatively high (11.72% chance of reaching the age of 20), whereas birth control prevented them from using their lifetime reproductive potential. By January 2020, the number of old individuals (> 18 years; 17.5%) was close to that of juveniles (< 4 years; 22.5%). The specific group composition, along with the inability of males to emigrate out of their natal group, may affect the social dynamics of the population, which merits further attention in future studies.

Department of Behavioral and Cognitive Biology
External organisation(s)
Austrian Research Center for Primatology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, Affenberg Zoobetriebsgesellschaft mbH, Kyoto University
Publication date
Peer reviewed
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
106051 Behavioural biology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Animal Science and Zoology
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