Dispersal patterns in Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys
Sex-biased dispersal is common in group-living animals. Due to differences in local demographic and environmental factors, sex-biased dispersal presents many irregular patterns. In this study, a habituated, individually identified Yunnan snub-nosed monkey Rhinopithecus bieti group was observed over 9 years; 192 dispersal events, including 97 male dispersal events (25 natal dispersal and 72 secondary dispersal) and 95 female dispersal events (34 natal dispersal and 61 secondary dispersal) were observed. Males and females showed different dispersal paths, dispersal ages, and dispersal patterns. Females had 2 dispersal paths, whereas males had 4 paths. In terms of age of dispersal, the male age of natal dispersal was younger than for females. Males prefer single dispersal, whereas females prefer parallel dispersal. Our study indicates that the dispersal pattern of R. bieti should be classified as a bisexual dispersal pattern. The differences in dispersal path, average age at dispersal, and dispersal path pattern indicate that Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys may still retain a loose matrilineal social system.