Latitudinal differences in territorial behavior are considered to have great influence on differences in life-history strategies of Nearctic and Neotropical birds. Most territorial behavior of tropical birds has particularities that cannot be explained only by theories from studies of birds in temperate regions. We evaluated the territorial system of the cooperative-breeding White-banded Tanager (Neothraupis fasciata) in central Brazil's savanna and present results on stability of territory site occupation, relationship between territory size and group size, and dispersal patterns. Territories (n = 27, mean per season) were monitored for 3 yr in a protected area in the cerrado of central Brazil and were defined by the minimum convex polygon method. Territory size averaged 3.7 ± 0.6 ha, and was defended by all individuals of groups of 2–8 individuals (mean = 3.4 ± 1.2). We recorded 44 dispersal events between territories, and most individuals dispersed distances equal to one territory in length. Males tended to stay in the same territory, whereas females dispersed. Our results support hypotheses that predict year-long territory defense for tropical birds. Territory size reflected group size, corroborating the hypothesis that individuals adjust the territory size to ensure the amount of resources for survival.
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Vol. 131 • No. 1