A Direct Comparison of Scan and Focal Sampling Methods for Measuring Wild Chimpanzee Feeding Behaviour

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A Direct Comparison of Scan and Focal Sampling Methods for Measuring Wild Chimpanzee Feeding Behaviour

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Title: A Direct Comparison of Scan and Focal Sampling Methods for Measuring Wild Chimpanzee Feeding Behaviour
Author: Gilby, Ian C.; Pokempner, Amy; Wrangham, Richard W.

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Citation: Gilby, Ian C., Amy A. Pokempner, and Richard W. Wrangham. 2010. A direct comparison of scan and focal sampling methods for measuring wild chimpanzee feeding behaviour. Folia Primotologica 81(5): 254-264.
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Abstract: Focal sampling is the most accurate method for measuring primate activity budgets, but is sometimes impractical. An alternative is scan sampling, in which the behaviour of the group is recorded at regular intervals. The simplest technique is to record whether at least one animal is engaged in the behaviour of interest. By direct comparison with focal data collected simultaneously on the same population, we assess the validity of this simple group-level sampling method for studying chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) feeding behaviour. In a 13-month study at Kanyawara, Kibale National Park, Uganda, group-level scan sampling provided statistically similar measures of broad diet composition to those produced by focal data, despite considerable seasonal variation. Monthly means of the percentage of time spent consuming non-fig fruit calculated from group-level scan sampling were highly correlated with those from focal sampling. This validates previous methodology used to identify periods of high energy availability. However, group-level scans tended to overestimate the percentage of observation time spent feeding, particularly for adult males. We conclude that this method of group-level scan sampling provides valuable data for characterising broad diet choice in chimpanzees and other species, but may be of limited use for estimating individual feeding time.
Published Version: doi:10.1159/000322354
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Open Access Policy Articles, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#OAP
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:5347702

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  • FAS Scholarly Articles [7374]
    Peer reviewed scholarly articles from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University
 
 

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