Behavioural ecology of gelada (Theropithecus gelada) living in the Simien Mountains National Park, northern Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


The main objectives of the present study are to conduct detailed investigations on population status, activity budget, foraging and ranging patterns of geladas living in the Gich area of the Simien Mountains National Park. Population census was conducted from early 2013 to late 2014 using a total-count sampling method. Activity data were collected using focal animal scan sampling method during ten days each month from May 2013 to April 2014. Average population size for two years of census period resulted in 661 individuals. There was a significant difference in the mean percentage of age/sex composition of individuals. Geladas fed on 27 species of plants, but the number of species varied markedly between seasons with dietary diversity being significantly more during the dry season. Festuca spp. formed a major dietary constituent throughout the year, contributing more than 78% of feeding records. Macronutrients had a complex influence on food plant species selection in gelada. Gelada spent on average 56.7% of daylight hours feeding, 14.1% travelling, 10.7% resting, 17.5% socializing and 1.1% in other non-social activities. There was seasonal difference in activity budgets and age/sex classes showed variation in time budgets. Geladas exclusively used cliff-face crevices as sleeping sites at night. The choice of top sleeping sites depended partly on the elevation of cliffs and protection that they provided gelada from natural predators. Key words: activity budget, cliff, diet, gelada, Gich, population status, SMNP



Activity Budget, Cliff, Diet, Gelada, Gich, Population Status, Smnp