by Francis Cabana, Research Coordinator
A big focus for the last two years at LFP has been infant dispersal. Basically this means looking in detail at when babies grow into adults and need to seek out their own territory. Why do they do this? What criteria do they use to choose where to go? At what age do they start sniffing around and when do they make the final move? There are many questions and very little answers thus far. In this newsletter, we bring you a tale of why such research is important.
We have two lorises called Pak B (male) and Lucu (female). They have been a pair for the last year at least. They both inhabit the same area, and have frequently doing “couply” things such as grooming each other. Well Imagine our surprise when Pak B was nowhere to be found in his new area. We found him in a completely new area, almost 1km from his usual place where we have never found a loris before, a place I like to call the enchanted forest! One night in there and we saw buffalo, banded linsang, owls, bats, civets, rodents and leopard cats.
There is a stream nearby, many Kaliandra trees to provide nectar, many insects but only a few gum producing trees. At this same time we spotted Lucu with an uncollared adult loris … who may this be? Is this why Pak B moved out? We could not spot any signs of a fight (lorises maim each other, wounds are very visible and horrible but heal within a month) or maybe Pak B just caught them together and couldn’t bear to look at her anymore? Or maybe she kicked him out? Perhaps none of these human scenarios apply but it is fun to speculate, isn’t it?
One week later both were back in the same area. Pak B is a young adult male, and a very strong one at that. Many of our males go through these huge range expansions or changes for short periods of time and we are busy at work trying to figure out why.