Data from: Space partitioning in wild, non-territorial mountain gorillas: the impact of food and neighbours
Seiler, Nicole et al. (2017), Data from: Space partitioning in wild, non-territorial mountain gorillas: the impact of food and neighbours, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.6k6f6
In territorial species, the distribution of neighbours and food abundance play a crucial role in space use patterns but less is known about how and when neighbours use shared areas in non-territorial species. We investigated space partitioning in 10 groups of wild, non-territorial mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei). Using location data, we examined factors influencing daily movement decisions and calculated the per cent overlap of annual kernel home ranges and core areas among neighbours. We found that the probability that a group chose an area was positively influenced by both food availability and the previous use of that area by the group. Additionally, groups reduced their overall utilization of areas previously used by neighbouring groups. Lastly, groups used their core areas more exclusively than their home ranges. In sum, our results show that both foraging needs and avoidance of competition with neighbours determined the gorillas' daily movement decisions, which presumably lead to largely mutually exclusive core areas. Our research suggests that non-territorial species actively avoid neighbours to maintain core area exclusivity. Together, these findings contribute to our understanding of the costs and benefits of non-territoriality.