Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2015

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Primate Behavior

Committee Chair

Lixing Sun

Second Committee Member

Lori K. Sheeran

Third Committee Member

R. Steven Wagner


The present study investigates the leadership and progression of collective movements of Tibetan macaques (Macaca thibetana) found in Mt. Huangshan, China. I gathered information on their movements and social networks through all-occurrence, focal and scan sampling. I hypothesize that high-ranking females lead more collective movements than males as they have highly structured social bonds. I also predict that movements weighted by female presence are more efficient as societies are matrilineally structured and females are more socially connected. There were a total of 128 successful collective movements recorded over a 2-month period. There was no significant effect of sex, age or rank on the leadership frequency. The highest-ranking female (YH) and a young female (TXX) led more collective movements than expected by chance, which may be a consequence of the mating season. There was a significant difference in successful movement time between movements weighted by female presence and those unweighted, which may be due to the matrilineally-structured societies and strong female bonds present.