Oral presentation- Open Session 12th International Mammalogical Congress

Comparative movement ecology of four sympatric rainforest frugivores (#443)

Ben T Hirsch 1 , Roland Kays 2 , Damien Caillaud 3 , Rafael Mares 4 , Margaret Crofoot 3
  1. James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia
  2. North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh, North Carolina, United States of America
  3. University of California at Davis, Davis, California, United States of America
  4. Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama

It is hypothesized that increased brain size and spatial cognition may lead to more efficient routing to food resources. This efficient travel behavior may have important fitness benefits for many mammal species. To address this question, we compared the travel behavior of four sympatric frugivores feeding primarily on a single fruit species. We used drone flights to create a georeferenced photo mosaic of the rainforest canopy on BCI, Panama and then identified 1402 flowering Dipteryx panamensis trees based on their purple color. We then tracked four species with collars set to take GPS locations at 4 min intervals. We developed a cluster analysis tool to determine if collared individuals stopped and ate at particular fruit trees. We found significant differences in the number of fruit trees visited per day, the number of trees visited per distance traveled, and inter-tree distances between our four mammal species. We also observed notable differences in home range use and travel routes between the four species. Our results are partly consistent with the hypothesis that larger brains lead to more efficient travel routes, but also reveal that species differences in locomotion and diet may exert large influences on how animals travel through their environment.