Jumping in the Night: An Investigation of the Leaping Activity of the Western Tarsier (Cephalopachus bancanus borneanus) Using AccelerometersCostantini D.a-c · Sebastiano M.c · Goossens B.d-g · Stark D.J.d, f
aUMR 7221, Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris, France; bLeibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin, Germany; cDepartment of Biology, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium; dOrganisms and Environment Division, Cardiff School of Biosciences, and eSustainable Places Research Institute, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK; fDanau Girang Field Centre, c/o Sabah Wildlife Department, and gSabah Wildlife Department, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
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Accelerometers enable scientists to quantify the activity of free-living animals whose direct observation is difficult or demanding due to their elusive nature or nocturnal habits. However, the deployment of accelerometers on small-bodied animals and, in particular, on primates has been little explored. Here we show the first application of accelerometers on the western tarsier (Cephalopachus bancanus borneanus), a nocturnal, small-bodied primate endemic to the forests of Borneo. The fieldwork was carried out in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. We provide guidelines for the deployment of accelerometers on tarsiers that might also be applied to other primate species. Our collected data on 2 females show levels of leaping activity comparable to those previously described using direct observation of wild or captive individuals. The 2 females showed different patterns of leaping activity, which calls for work to explore individual differences further. Our work demonstrates that accelerometers can be deployed on small primates to acquire body motion data that would otherwise be demanding to collect using classic field observations. Future work will be focused on using accelerometer data to discriminate in more detail the different behaviours tarsiers can display and to address the causes and consequences of individual variations in activity.
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