Modelling ranging behaviour of female orang-utans: A case study in Tuanan, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia

Flurina M. Wartmann, Ross S. Purves, Carel P. van Schaik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Quantification of the spatial needs of individuals and populations is vitally important for management and conservation. Geographic information systems (GIS) have recently become important analytical tools in wildlife biology, improving our ability to understand animal movement patterns, especially when very large data sets are collected. This study aims at combining the field of GIS with primatology to model and analyse space-use patterns of wild orang-utans. Home ranges of female orang-utans in the Tuanan Mawas forest reserve in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia were modelled with kernel density estimation methods. Kernel results were compared with minimum convex polygon estimates, and were found to perform better, because they were less sensitive to sample size and produced more reliable estimates. Furthermore, daily travel paths were calculated from 970 complete follow days. Annual ranges for the resident females were approximately 200 ha and remained stable over several years; total home range size was estimated to be 275 ha. On average, each female shared a third of her home range with each neighbouring female. Orang-utan females in Tuanan built their night nest on average 414 m away from the morning nest, whereas average daily travel path length was 777 m. A significant effect of fruit availability on day path length was found. Sexually active females covered longer distances per day and may also temporarily expand their ranges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-130
Number of pages12
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2010


  • Daily path length
  • Home range
  • Kernel estimation
  • Orang-utan
  • Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii


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