Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit

Anthropology and Museum Studies

Publication Date



Until now, mother-infant relationships have not been studied in a wild population of the Southern Pig-tailed Macaques Macaca nemestrina. We observed six mother-infant dyads from April 2016 to September 2016 in the Segari Melintang Forest Reserve, Peninsular Malaysia using focal sampling methods from the perspectives of both individuals. We hypothesized that as infant age increased, the same important mother-infant behaviours, previously observed to change in captive pig-tailed macaque mother-infant studies, would also change over time in field conditions. We expected that as the infant ages, mothers would decrease their rates of restraint and retrieval, and increase their rates of punishment. Two separate generalized linear mixed models (GLMM) of mother permissive behaviour and mother-infant contact duration as the outcome variables each showed infant age as the sole significant predictor variable indicating that as infant age increased, maternal behaviours changed as expected above, and mother-infant contact duration decreased. Mothers’ interactions with other group members appeared influenced by mothers’ associations with their offspring: adult females and juveniles were significantly more likely to be within 1-5 m proximity of mothers as infant age increased. Our data show that mother permissive behaviour, mother-infant contact duration, and proximity are crucial elements to consider when examining wild Southern Pig-tailed Macaque mother-infant relationships and infant independence, similar to what has been
observed in captive settings.


This article was originally published in Asian Primates Journal. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.


Asian Primates Journal