Sleeping Site Selection by Agile Gibbons: The Influence of Tree Stability, Fruit Availability and Predation Risk

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit

Anthropology and Museum Studies

Publication Date



Primates spend a significant proportion of their lives at sleeping sites: the selection of a secure and stable sleeping tree can be crucial for individual survival and fitness. We measured key characteristics of all tree species in which agile gibbons slept, including exposure of the tree crown, root system, height, species and presence of food. Gibbons most frequently slept in Dipterocarpaceae and Fabaceae trees and preferentially chose trees taller than average, slept above the mean canopy height and showed a preference for liana-free trees. These choices could reflect avoidance of competition with other frugivores, but we argue these choices reflect gibbons prioritizing avoidance of predation. The results highlight that gibbons are actively selecting and rejecting sleeping trees based on several characteristics. The importance of the presence of large trees for food is noted and provides insight into gibbon antipredatory behaviour.


This article was originally published in Folia Primatologica. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

Due to copyright restrictions, this article is not available for free download from ScholarWorks @ CWU.


Folia Primatologica


© 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel