Grantee Spotlight: Research Grant – Addisu Mekonnen

Sleeping site seletion of Bale monkeys (Chlorocebus djamdjamensis) at Kokosa forest fragment in southern Ethiopia

Addisu Mekonnen:

Sleeping site selection is an important aspect in primate behavioural ecology, where safe sleeping sites and trees are crucial for individual survival and fitness. Several hypotheses have been proposed for sleeping site selection of many primate species. Nothing is know, however, about the sleeping site selection of the little-known, endemic, bamboo-eating Bale monkeys in southern Ethiopia.

The main aim of this study was to test four non-mutually exclusive sleeping site selection hypotheses: prediation avoidance, food access, range defense, and comfort and thermoregulation. The fieldwork was carried out between January and July 2014 in Kokosa forest fragment. The pre-sleeping behaviour of monkeys, characteristics of sleeping trees and sleeping sites were recorded every month. The results from the study will be crucial to increasing our understanding of the ecological and evolutionary adaptations essential for the species’ long-term persistence in the southern Ethiopian highlands.