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External environmental conditions impact nocturnal activity levels in proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus) living in Sabah, Malaysia

Kooros, Sophie, Goossens, Benoit ORCID:, Sterk, Elisabeth H. M., Kenerdine, Richard, Malim, Peter Titol, Saldivar, Diana Angeles Raminez and Stark, Danica J. 2022. External environmental conditions impact nocturnal activity levels in proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus) living in Sabah, Malaysia. American Journal of Primatology 84 (9) 10.1002/ajp.23423

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Recently, several diurnal nonhuman anthropoids have been identified displaying varying degrees of nocturnal activity, which can be influenced by activity “masking effects”—external events or conditions that suppress or trigger activity, temporarily altering normal activity patterns. Environmental masking characteristics include nocturnal temperature, rainfall, cloud cover, and moon brightness. Similarly, other ecological characteristics, including proximity to humans and predators and daytime activity, may also trigger or suppress nocturnal activity. Understanding the effects of external conditions on activity patterns is pertinent to effective species conservation. We investigated the presence of nocturnal activity and the influence of masking effects on the level of nocturnal activity displayed by wild proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus) in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Dual-axis accelerometers were attached by collar to six male proboscis monkeys from different one-male, multi-female groups to record activity continuously (165–401 days each). We measured the monkeys' nocturnal and diurnal activity levels and investigated the effects of seven potential masking effects. Nocturnal activity was much lower than diurnal activity. Still, proboscis monkeys did display varying levels of nocturnal activity. Generalized linear mixed models identified higher nocturnal activity in the study individuals during nights with cooler temperatures, higher rainfall, and after higher diurnal activity. These three masking effects affected nocturnal activity levels during the observation period that informed our model, although they did not predict nocturnal activity outside of this period. While the generalizability of these results remains uncertain, this study highlights the utility of accelerometers in identifying activity patterns and masking effects that create variability in these patterns.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is p roperly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0275-2565
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 11 July 2022
Date of Acceptance: 3 July 2022
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2022 21:42

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