American Journal of Primatology

Published by Wiley
Online ISSN: 1098-2345
Print ISSN: 0275-2565
Recently, many studies have been conducted on manual laterality in chimpanzees. Nevertheless, whether nonhuman primates exhibit population-level handedness remains a topic of considerable debate. One of the behaviors studied has been bimanual coordinated actions. Although recent studies have highlighted that captive chimpanzees show handedness at population level for these tasks, some authors have questioned the validity and consistency of these results. The first reason has been the humanization of the samples. The second one has been that the results refer to animals in American biomedical centers and the studies were conducted by the same team [WD Hopkins et al.]. This article aims to assess the laterality in bimanual coordination (tube task) activities in animals housed in an intermediate environment (Chimfunshi, Zambia). This has been conducted by replicating previous studies on similar samples (Mona Foundation, Spain), and then by extending the results to chimpanzees housed in intermediate settings. Individuals were evaluated through four experimental sessions (tests). Results indicated that 86% of the Chimfunshi sample was lateralized (48% RH, 38% LH). Furthermore, the sample showed population-level right-handedness in the mean handedness index, in Test 1, Test 2, and the first half of the study (Test 112). Rearing experience did not have an influence on handpreference. Taken together, the two sample (intermediate settings: Chimfunshi and Mona) results indicate a clear right-handedness. In conclusion, this replication and extension shows that (1) the Mona and Chimfunshi chimpanzees are right-handed in certain conditions, (2) the results are consistent with those obtained by Hopkins in captive settings, (3) the humanization of the samples does not affect manual laterality, (4) females are right-handed at population-level, but not males, and (5) these results reinforce the fact that the complexity of the task plays a dominant role in the expression of hand laterality among chimpanzees.
The Tana River Primate National Reserve (TRPNR), with study forests highlighted. Adapted from Wieczkowski [2005]. 
Fruit crop scores for nine species individually and combined.
We compared the feeding behavior of a group of Tana River mangabeys (Cercocebus galeritus), densities of 25 diet species, and fruit availability of nine species in a 16.25 ha Tana River forest in southeastern Kenya studied in 1988 and in 2000-2001. For both studies, we enumerated all reproductively sized individuals of the 25 diet species and sampled nine of those species monthly for fruit availability. Mangabey feeding data were collected monthly from January to December 1988 and August 2000 to July 2001 using identical methods. We found a 17% increase in stem number of the 25 species between studies. Estimates of fruit production were lower in 2000 for five of the nine species monitored. Species composition of the mangabey diets shifted between 1988 and 2000-2001. We suggest that changes in forest composition may be due to declining human disturbance, elephant loss, changes in the river's hydrologic regime, and the 1997/98 ENSO event. Possible reasons for lower fruit availability are a younger demographic profile of the forest and changes in the river's hydrological regime. Only some of the changes in the mangabey diet mirrored changes in stem abundance and/or fruit availability. Mangabey dietary changes underscore their high degree of flexibility that allows them to persist in such a dynamic forest habitat.
Line-transect surveys were conducted at the Isecheno study site in the Kakamega Forest, western Kenya to estimate diurnal primate densities. The estimates from several different methods of analysis of census data were compared to "true" density values based on home range size and overlap for two species. The Whitesides method [Whitesides et al., 1988], which incorporates species-specific mean group spread into its formula for estimating transect width, provided the most accurate density estimates. The importance of including as many groups as possible when calculating density from home range size and overlap is demonstrated with long-term data from Colobus guereza and Cercopithecus mitis. Colobus guereza group density at Isecheno was much lower than that published from a recent brief study [von Hippel, 1996]. Cercopithecus mitis group density has fallen while overall population biomass appears to have remained stable over 20 years of study. Isecheno has the second highest diurnal primate biomass of the ten Guineo-Congolian rainforest sites for which biomass data are available, despite having the lowest primate species richness. Within the Guineo-Congolian rainforest system, primate biomass appears to vary to some extent between ecogeographic regions: two of three mid-elevation East African sites have high biomasses, two of two lowland West African sites have intermediate biomasses, and four of five lowland Central African sites have low biomasses. There is a strong positive correlation between total colobine biomass and total primate biomass at the ten Guineo-Congolian rainforest sites.
A teratoma was found during a planned cesarean section in a 10-year-old primigravida baboon. This teratoma had a female sex chromosome complement and trisomy for chromosome 16. This is the first report of a teratoma in a baboon and the first report of a chromosomal abnormality in a nonhuman primate teratoma. It is also the first case in a nonhuman primate to address the mechanism of origin. Through the use of genetic markers from human chromosomes 5, 8 and 17, the origin of the teratoma was shown to be most consistent with failure of meiosis II or endoreduplication in a mature ovum, while the trisomy for chromosome 16 originated after the formation of the tumor.
Trisomic infant's hands at necropsy, death at 2 days of age. (A) Upper limbs with flexed digits, ulnar deviation at wrist and bilateral postaxial polydactyly, dorsal aspect. (B) Upper limbs with flexed digits, ulnar deviation at wrist and bilateral postaxial polydactyly, ventral aspect, limbs reversed.
Trisomic infant's heart with patent foramen ovale. Arrow indicates the opening in the interatrial septum. Image was generated in the Core Optical Imaging Facility, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Kidneys of trisomic infant. (A) Gross appearance of kidneys in abdomen. Note irregular shape and lobularity of the dysplastic right kidney. (B) Histology of dysplastic kidney. There is an irregular pattern of the glomerulae with prominence and variable development of the tubules. Note the dilated tubules and prominent vessels.
Karyotype of the female infant baboon with trisomy 17, 43,XX,117, according to the nomenclature of Cambefort et al. [1976]. Arrow indicates extra chromosome 17.
Trisomy 13 in humans is the third most common autosomal abnormality at birth, after trisomy 21 and trisomy 18. It has a reported incidence of between 1:5,000 and 1:30,000 live births. It is associated with multiple abnormalities, many of which shorten lifespan. We describe here the first reported case of a baboon (Papio hamadryas) with trisomy of chromosome 17, which is homologous to human chromosome 13. The trisomic infant was born to a consanguineous pair of baboons and had morphological characteristics similar to those observed in human trisomy 13, including bilateral polydactyly in the upper limbs, a patent foramen ovale, and pyelectasis. Molecular DNA analysis using human chromosome 13 markers was consistent with the affected infant inheriting two copies of chromosome 17 derived from the same parental chromosome. This trisomy was, therefore, due to either an error in meiosis II or the result of postzygotic nondisjunction. The parental origin, however, could not be determined.
This study presents the first detailed morphometric measurements of wild caught black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata) from the eastern rainforests of Madagascar and aims to quantify the morphological variation present throughout their recognized range. One hundred and forty-four adult and juvenile individuals from 15 sites were sampled for 20 cranial, dental and postcranial morphometric and body mass measurements. Data were collected from an equal number of male and female individuals sampled across seasons over a 7-year period (1999-2002, 2004-2006). Results indicate that adult body mass and morphometric measurements varied between sexes across sites; however, the only significant intersexual difference found was that females possessed, on average, longer tails than males. Contrary to previous studies, significant seasonal variation could not be detected in either male or female body mass or testicular volume (i.e., breeding vs. nonbreeding, food-scarce vs. food-abundant seasons). Measurements did, however, vary significantly by site and subspecies, though clinal variation could not explain these differences. The introduced population from Nosy Mangabe exhibited significantly lower body mass and overall body length than all other populations; however, this distinction may not have been attributable to natural variation, and may have instead resulted from the ecologically restrictive habitat (e.g., unusually high lemur population densities, limited food resources, ecological isolation) of this introduced population. Finally, although fore-to-hindlimb, brachium-to-thigh and hindlimb indices were comparable to previous values, forelimb indices calculated here deviate significantly from previous reports, placing V. variegata within the upper range of lemurid taxa. It is currently unknown whether this is an artifact of sampling methods (i.e., live vs. skeletal specimens) or whether this is an avenue that warrants further investigation.
Distribution of African green monkeys (Chlorocebus) and collection sites of fecal and museum (bold) samples. Species distributions are shaded and modified from Lernould (1988) and Kingdon (1997). Colored symbols indicate phenotypes determined. Numbers correspond to IDs in  and Supporting Information Table SI. IDs of type specimens are boxed. Schematic drawings depicting main differences in facial characters are redrawn from Hill (1966).
Bayesian phylogram with posterior probabilities and ML bootstrap support values based on the complete cyt b gene. C1/I-C9/VII indicate main mtDNA clades. Bootstrap support values of >90% and posterior probabilities of >0.98 are presented as black dots; values below are given at respective nodes. Type specimens are boxed.
A) Median-joining network of mtDNA sequences with depicted clade affiliations (see ). Sizes of circles indicate haplotype frequencies and colors represent different phenotypes. Black dots along branches represent median vectors and branch length is relative to the number of mutated positions. (B) Map showing geographic distribution of the mtDNA clades detected. Samples indicating discordance between mtDNA and observed phenotype are highlighted with black dots. Question marks indicate recommended regions for future studies.
African green monkeys (Chlorocebus) represent a widely distributed and morphologically diverse primate genus in sub-Saharan Africa. Little attention has been paid to their genetic diversity and phylogeny. Based on morphological data, six species are currently recognized, but their taxonomy remains disputed. Here, we aim to characterize the mitochondrial (mt) DNA diversity, biogeography and phylogeny of African green monkeys. We analyzed the complete mitochondrial cytochrome b gene of 126 samples using feces from wild individuals and material from zoo and museum specimens with clear geographical provenance, including several type specimens. We found evidence for nine major mtDNA clades that reflect geographic distributions rather than taxa, implying that the mtDNA diversity of African green monkeys does not conform to existing taxonomic classifications. Phylogenetic relationships among clades could not be resolved suggesting a rapid early divergence of lineages. Several discordances between mtDNA and phenotype indicate that hybridization may have occurred in contact zones among species, including the threatened Bale monkey (Chlorocebus djamdjamensis). Our results provide both valuable data on African green monkeys' genetic diversity and evolution and a basis for further molecular studies on this genus. Am. J. Primatol. 00:1-11, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
We describe a snub-nosed monkey that is new to science from the high altitudes of northeastern Kachin state, northeastern Myanmar, the Burmese snub-nosed monkey, Rhinopithecus strykeri sp. nov. Descriptions are based on a skin and skulls of four specimens obtained from local hunters. The new species is geographically isolated from other snub-nosed monkeys and separated from them by two major barriers—the Mekong and the Salween (Thanlwin) rivers. The species is chiefly diagnosed by its almost entirely blackish fur coloration with white fur only on ear tufts, chin beard, and perineal area, and its relatively long tail (140% of head and body length in the adult male). Preliminary surveys and interviews with hunters indicate that the new species is limited in distribution to the Maw River area, a small region of the Salween-N’mai Hka divide in northeastern Kachin state, northeastern Myanmar. The distribution area appears to cover about 270km2, and the species may consist of only three groups with a total population of approximately 260–330 individuals. Our data on hunting pressure suggest that the species is Critically Endangered. Am. J. Primatol. 73:96–107, 2011.
This work presents the results of a demographic analysis of 30 years of breeding records from the University of Washington's recently closed Primate Field Station at Medical Lake, Washington. Summaries of population growth, age-specific fertility and mortality rates, first-year survival, and seasonality of reproduction are presented, as well as an analysis of survival by decade. In addition, we present data on interbirth intervals in this population. In general, pigtailed macaques represent a typical Old World monkey pattern of age-specific fertility and mortality, with a few minor exceptions. We suggest that pigtailed macaques are most similar to rhesus and Barbary macaques, and that Japanese and bonnet macaques differ somewhat in their demographics.
Patas monkeys may be especially vulnerable to local extinction because they live in relatively small, female-philopatric groups at low densities and are strongly polygynous. We assessed a patas monkey population in Kenya's 9,700 km(2) Laikipia District over 25 years, using data collected in 1979-1981 and 1992-2004. The data were based on intensive observations of three study groups, "on the ground" counts, and surveys of Laikipia residents. In 1979-1981, a minimum of 415 patas monkeys lived in 14-15 groups. By 2000, the best estimate suggested 310-445 patas monkeys living in 13-17 groups over a greater surveyed area, suggesting that patas monkeys in Laikipia may have undergone a slight decline in numbers over time. Their distribution, however, was similar over time. The relative stability of this population has likely been the result of beneficial co-existence with large-scale cattle ranching. Outside Laikipia, substantial habitat alteration from rising human populations has coincided with the near disappearance of patas monkeys where they were previously more numerous. The small population in Laikipia, probably the largest remaining in Kenya, may therefore be critical to the continued existence of patas monkeys in that country and may be dependent on maintenance of large-scale ranches. Such land use provides patas monkeys with water and broad expanses of Acacia drepanolobium woodlands, the habitat to which patas are restricted in Laikipia.
A survey of the mantled howler (Alouatta palliata) population on Hacienda La Pacifica, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, was done in July and August of 1998 to determine population parameters following deforestation due to major canal construction between 1990 and 1994. The survey was carried out in a manner identical to our 1991 survey and consisted of a single pass and two re-surveys of all forested areas of the farm. As canal construction effectively increased fragmentation of the habitat, we predicted decreased population and group size over this time. Results indicated that between the 1991 and 1998 survey, group size decreased but not significantly, and there were significantly fewer adult males and adult females per group. Population size, however, remained unchanged as there was an increase in animals in the immature age classes. An increase in the infant to adult female ratio suggests a stable or even expanding population, which could represent recovery from the initial disturbance of deforestation. Thus, despite changes in the forest and land use patterns, the area now appears to support the same number of howlers as found in previous surveys.
An index of coat condition can be a non-invasive tool for tracking health and stress at population level. Coat condition in ringtailed lemurs, Lemur catta, was recorded during September-November birth seasons of 1996, 1997, 1999, and 2001-2006 at Berenty Reserve, Madagascar. Condition was scored on a scale from 0: full, fluffy coat with guard hairs present, to 5: half or more of body hairless. Adult males did not differ overall from adult females. Coats were worse in adults than in 2-year-old subadults; 1-year-old juveniles were intermediate. Mothers and adult males lost coat condition as the season progressed: non-mother females maintained condition. Years 1999-2002 scored better coats than either 1996-1997 or 2003-2006. Lemurs in high population density areas had worse coats than in natural forest, but tourist presence had less effect than density. Monitoring coat condition in an apparently healthy population reveals differences between population segments, and in a forest fragment with limited immigration or emigration it can track progressive changes, correcting impressions of progressive improvement or degradation over time. Above all it gives a baseline for response to climate changes or eventual pathology.
Fur condition in wild ringtailed lemurs, Lemur catta, was recorded during September-November birth seasons 2001-2006 at Berenty Reserve, Madagascar. Body coat condition was scored on a scale from BS 0: full, smooth coat with guard hairs, to BS5: half or more of back and limbs hairless. Tail condition was scored from TS 0: full, to TS 5: half or more hairless. Where troop core areas included stands of Leucaena leucocephala, alopecia was dramatically more frequent than in similar areas without leucaena, including many animals with score BS5 or TS5, "bald lemur syndrome." Females' coats were worse than males', possibly related to female dominance and access to this preferred food. Tails in non-leucaena-feeding females tend to remain full, even if coats deteriorate, but with leucaena-feeding female tails are highly correlated with coat condition and equally bare. Coat and tail condition in L. catta reflected not only the dietary toxin but individual differences as well as differences between adjacent troops that may result from territorially mediated access to the environment. Leucaena contains the non-protein amino acid mimosine, a known cause of alopecia, wasting, and organ damage in livestock, although the effects are usually reversible. This is the first case of its effect in wildlife. Leucaena is an agroforestry tree introduced throughout the tropics. In high dietary concentrations leucaena might potentially affect any browsing mammal.
In the bicentenary year of Darwin's birth, the American Society of Primatologists honored his memory by convening a symposium entitled "Understanding emotions in primates: In honor of Darwin's 200th birthday." The four articles in this special section, excepting this introduction, derive from that symposium. The section confirms that the topic of emotion is once again, as in Darwin's lifetime, the subject of wide-ranging, theoretically exciting research, and that studies with nonhuman primates are at the leading edge of a rapidly changing field.
Contributors to this issue of the American Journal of Primatology were among the participants in an invited symposium at the 2008 Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation meeting in Paramaribo, Suriname. They were asked to assess how essential primates are to tropical ecosystems and, given their research interests, discuss how primate research contributes to the broader understanding about how ecosystems function. This introduction to the issue is divided into three parts: a review of the roles that nonhuman primates play in tropical ecosystems; the implementation of large-scale landscape methods used to identify primate densities; and concerns about the increasingly porous boundaries between humans, nonhuman primates, and pathogens. Although 20th century primate research created a rich database on individual species, including both theoretical and descriptive approaches, the dual effects of high human population densities and widespread habitat destruction should warn us that creative, interdisciplinary and human-related research is needed to solve 21st century problems.
We present census data for eight primate species spanning 32.9 years along the same transect at Ngogo, Kibale National Park, Uganda, demonstrating major changes in the composition of the primate community. Correlated with an estimated decline of ∼89% in the red colobus population was an increase in encounter rates with chimpanzee parties. Our data, along with the unusually high rates of predation by chimpanzees on red colobus at Ngogo and the fact that the chimpanzee community at Ngogo is the largest ever recorded, support the conclusion that the red colobus decline was caused primarily by chimpanzee predation. This seems to be the first documented case of predation by one nonhuman primate causing the population decline in another. We evaluated disease and interspecific competition as other possible causes of the red colobus decline, but judged them to be relatively insignificant compared with predation by chimpanzees. Notable changes in encounter rates with other primate species may have resulted from forest expansion. Those for mangabeys, redtails, and black and white colobus increased significantly. Encounter rates increased for l'Hoest's monkeys too, but the increased sightings may have been an artifact of increased habituation. Sightings of blue monkey and baboon groups declined. There was no significant change in encounter rates for all species combined. The Ngogo primate community seemed to be in a nonequilibrium state, changing from one dominated by two species, a folivore (red colobus) and a frugivorous omnivore (redtails), to one dominated by three species of frugivorous omnivores (redtails, mangabeys, and chimpanzees). This study demonstrates the importance of long-term monitoring in understanding population dynamics and the role of intrinsic variables in shaping the species composition of a community.
Our objective was to determine the growth of the embryo and surrounding structures during baboon (Papio anubis) gestation using transvaginal sonography (TVS). To this end, we evaluated 19 timed-mated baboons using TVS between 37 and 62 days of gestation. After visualization of the gestational sac, amniotic sac, and yolk sac, the three largest diameters of each of these extra embryonic structures were measured using longitudinal and transverse views. Embryonic crown-rump length (CRL) was also recorded. Embryonic heart rates were determined using the M-mode function of the ultrasound equipment. All 19 gestations developed without complications. No significant trend could be demonstrated for heart rate or yolk sac diameters over the 37-62 day gestational age period. Mean (SD) gestational age in days, heart rate, and yolk sac diameter, respectively, for the group were 48 (7.8) days (range: 37-61), 180 (15) beats per minute (range: 156-221) and 5 (0.1) mm (range: 3-8). Significant correlations (P < 0.0001) were determined between gestational age and CRL and gestational and amniotic sacs. We conclude that TVS allows a clear visualization of the embryo proper and all the cavities within the gestational sac of the baboon gestation. This study has determined the normal pattern of changes of these cavities from 37-62 days of gestation. Future applications of these findings may include sampling fluid from these cavities for biochemical, cytological, and metabolic studies.
Knowledge of the comparative anatomy of tongue musculature is crucial to the discussion of the origin and the evolution of speech because of the indispensable role played by this organ in speech. However, the tongue musculature of primates has rarely been studied. In a previous study, the author analyzed human tongue musculature and developed a 3D model of this organ [Takemoto, Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 44:95-107, 2001]. In this study, the tongue musculature of chimpanzees was examined using methods similar to those used for humans. Results showed that tongue musculature was topologically the same for both humans and chimpanzees. As in humans, the tongue musculature of chimpanzees consisted of inner and outer regions. The inner musculature was composed of serial "structural units," made up of two types of laminae whose fibers were perpendicular to the tongue surface. The outer musculature was a thin layer of fibers oriented parallel to the surface and superficial to the inner musculature. Although the tongue musculature of humans and chimpanzees is similar, the external shapes differ: the chimpanzee tongue is flat, whereas the human tongue is round. Applying the muscular hydrostat theory to the external shape of the tongue suggests that the primary actions of the chimpanzee tongue are protrusion and retrusion, whereas the human tongue can be deformed in the oral cavity with a high degree of freedom. It is hypothesized that the evolution of the external shape of the tongue is one of the factors that led to the development of human speech. The results of this study suggest that modeling based on muscular hydrostatic theory of the effects of changes in external tongue shape on articulatory movements should be included in discussions on the origin of speech.
This article presents a pictorial history of the free-ranging colony of rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) on Cayo Santiago, Puerto Rico, in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of its establishment by Clarence R. Carpenter in December 1938. It is based on a presentation made by the authors at the symposium, Cayo Santiago: 75 Years of Leadership in Translational Research, held at the 36th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Primatologists in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on 20 June 2013. Am. J. Primatol. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Three individually housed bonnet macaque males were given 75 weeks of continuous access to a joystick task with a reward choice of either viewing live color video of a bonnet group or obtaining a banana-flavored food treat. Here we report data for weeks 44-75 following a change in the stimulus group displayed in the video. The new stimulus group enhanced responding to the video for two subjects over the entire 32 weeks of this study, although there was some decline across weeks, and the video continued to be an effective reward for the duration of the study for all subjects.
Linkage analysis can be problematic in humans because of the lack of large, multigenerational pedigrees and the difficulties in obtaining phenotypic data on all family members. In contrast, large, captive colonies of rhesus macaque are a potentially valuable resource for linkage studies because detailed phenotypic and genealogical data are kept, inbreeding is avoided, and DNA samples can usually be obtained. Microsatellite marker sets for genome-wide screening are available in a number of species, but not for the rhesus macaque. We tested primers to 400 human microsatellite markers from a genome-wide mapping set using DNA from nine unrelated female rhesus macaques. We found that 76 (19%) of the primers amplified a polymorphic product using the standard protocols for human DNA. The average heterozygosity of the markers in humans was 0.80, compared to 0.65 in the rhesus macaques. This study provides preliminary data, which could be used toward the development of a linkage mapping set in this species. There would be a need, however, to confirm the Mendelian inheritance of the markers.
Human-wildlife conflicts, such as crop-raiding, increase as people expand their agricultural activities into wildlife habitats. Crop-raiding can reduce tolerance toward species that are already threatened, whereas potential dangers posed by conflicts with large-bodied species may also negatively influence local attitudes. Across Asia, wild pigs and primates, such as macaques, tend to be the most commonly reported crop raiders. To date, reports of crop-raiding incidents involving great apes have been less common, but incidents involving orangutans are increasingly emerging in Indonesia. To investigate the interplay of factors that might explain attitudes toward crop-raiding by orangutans (Pongo abelii), focal group discussions and semi-structured interviews were conducted among 822 farmers from 2 contrasting study areas in North Sumatra. The first study area of Batang Serangan is an agroforest system containing isolated orangutans that crop-raid. In contrast, the second area of Sidikalang comprises farmlands bordering extensive primary forest where orangutans are present but not reported to crop-raid. Farmers living in Batang Serangan thought that orangutans were dangerous, irrespective of earlier experience of crop-raiding. Farmers placed orangutans as the third most frequent and fourth most destructive crop pest, after Thomas' leaf monkey (Presbytis thomasi), wild boar (Sus scrofa), and long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis). Although most (57%) farmers across both study areas were not scared of wildlife species, more than a quarter (28%) of the farmers' feared orangutans. Farmers in Batang Serangan were generally more tolerant toward crop-raiding orangutans, if they did not perceive them to present a physical threat. Most (67%) Batang Serangan farmers said that the local Forestry Department staff should handle crop-raiding orangutans, and most (81%) said that these officials did not care about such problems. Our results suggest that efforts to mitigate human-orangutan conflict may not, per se, change negative perceptions of those who live with the species, because these perceptions are often driven by fear.
Methane emissions have been previously detected from orangutans, but characterization of the diversity of methanogens in this species has yet to be completed. This preliminary study identified methanogen producing microorganims, also called methanogens, present in the feces from a colony of captive Sumatran orangutans at the Perth Zoo. All animals were housed in the same enclosure and were fed primarily a frugivorous diet. Methanogens were detected using a 16S rRNA gene clone library. A total of 207 clones were examined, revealing 37 different methanogen 16S rRNA sequences, or phylotypes. Of these, 31 phylotypes represented by 170 clones had 96.4-100% sequence identity to Methanosphaera stadtmanae, four phylotypes (32 clones) had 95.1-100% sequence identity to Methanobrevibacter smithii, while two phylotypes (five clones) had 95.9-97.7% sequence identity to Methanobacterium beijingense. Overall, five possible new species were identified from the clone library. This represents the first report of Msp. stadtmanae, a methanol utilizer, as the most predominant methanogen in the gastrointestinal tract of animals. This is likely due to the increased availability of methanol from the highly frugivorous diet of the orangutans. Further studies are warranted to properly assess the effects of frugivorous diets on the methanogen population.
Information about meat-eating behavior by wild orangutans (Pongo pygmæus) is scant. The first article about such a case dates from 1981. Since 1989, seven incidents of adult female Sumatran orangutans eating slow lorises (Nycticebus coucang) have been witnessed. Three females from two study sites were involved. In three cases the females were seen catching the prey. There are too few cases to conclude whether this behavior is typically female. Am. J. Primatol. 43:159–165, 1997. © 1997 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Dealing effectively with space to find important resources in a natural environment is a fundamental ability necessary for survival. Evidence has already been provided that wild gray mouse lemurs revisit stationary feeding sites regularly. In this study, we explore to what extent two sympatric mouse lemur species, Microcebus murinus and M. ravelobensis, revisited artificial feeding sites during a period of food scarcity. As the tested populations are marked with individual transponders, we built up artificial feeding platforms equipped with a transponder reader at nine different locations where mouse lemurs had been previously caught. We baited them with a liquid reward and recorded the visitors' ID, the time and frequency of their visits, as well as all encounters that occurred on the platforms. Only mouse lemurs visited platforms and a total of sixteen individuals across both species were identified. Mouse lemurs visited a platform with a frequency of 2.02 (+/-0.95, range: 1-3.4) times in a night and they revisited it on several consecutive nights following their first visit (percentage of revisits 90.6%+/-11.7, range: 73.3-100%). First visits on a platform occurred on average 44 min (+/-35; range: 13-131) after sunset. We identified encounters between mouse lemurs on platforms: all of them were agonistic and within a species. Within a dyad, chasers were significantly heavier than chasees (N=7 dyads). Our design of platform experiments offers the advantage of observing wild individually known small primates in their natural environment and of setting up controlled experiments to gain insight into their sensory and cognitive abilities.
This figure presents a navigator's view interior to a virtual environment. On the virtual walls, the brown triangles are negative landmarks and blue squares are positive landmarks.
This figure represents an open space design (with one of the eight random locations of goal on perimeter) used for training. The yellow circle in the upper right hand corner represents the location of the goal on this trial, while the pink triangle is the constant start position, always facing north.
These three figures present diagrammatic representations of the three VR T-maze environments used in testing the chimpanzees and human participants, comparatively. The pink triangle symbolizes the start position and direction of view on beginning a trial. The yellow squares symbolize the landmarks; the goal is represented by a yellow circle. (a) A diagram of one of the two versions of the VR 1 T-maze used in testing subjects and participants (goal location randomized in T-maze at the end of either the right or left alleyways). (b) A diagram of one of the four versions of the VR 2 T-mazes used in testing subjects and participants (goal location randomized in the T-maze at the end of one of the four alleyways). (c) A diagram of one of the four versions of the VR 3 T-maze used in testing subjects and participants (goal location randomized in T-maze at the end of one of the five alleyways).
This set of four diagrams present representations of the four types of VR open space designs used in testing; two of an open space test design presenting one or two 3D barriers located to occlude the view of the goal, and two presenting a complex (multi-alleyway) open space test design where the location of the start or goal is randomized per trial. In the barrier environments, two positive landmarks were placed either side of the barrier occluding the goal; in the design with two barriers, two negative landmarks were also paired with the other barrier. The barrier-landmark-goal array was set randomly, per trial, around the perimeter of the arena in one of four locations. In the complex open space designs, either the start position or the goal location was randomized over trials. In these complex designs, large visual barriers were constructed to create a complex set of alleyways. Positive/negative landmarks acted as guides to the location of the goal. The yellow squares symbolize the landmarks; the goal is represented by a yellow circle. The pink triangle symbolizes the start position and direction of view on beginning a trial. The green rectangles represent the barriers. (a) This figure represents an open space design of one barrier occluding the view of the goal. (b) This figure presents an open space design with two barriers occluding the view of the goal (yellow circle). Two positive landmarks (yellow squares) were paired with the barrier + goal (green rectangle and yellow circle) and two negative landmarks were paired with the other barrier. (c and d) These diagrammatic figures present two of the complex open space designs used in testing with the start position or the goal location randomized over trials.
Mean shortest path ratio per participant group in different environment types.
The purpose of the present study was to determine the efficacy of investigating spatial cognitive abilities across two primate species using virtual reality. In this study, we presented four captive adult chimpanzees and 16 humans (12 children and 4 adults) with simulated environments of increasing complexity and size to compare species' attention to visuo-spatial features during navigation. The specific task required participants to attend to landmarks in navigating along routes in order to localize the goal site. Both species were found to discriminate effectively between positive and negative landmarks. Assessing path efficiency revealed that both species and all age groups used relatively efficient, distance reducing routes during navigation. Compared to the chimpanzees and adult humans however, younger children's performance decreased as maze complexity and size increased. Surprisingly, in the most complex maze category the humans' performance was less accurate compared to one female chimpanzee. These results suggest that the method of using virtual reality to test captive primates, and in particular, chimpanzees, affords significant cross-species investigations of spatial cognitive and developmental comparisons. Am. J. Primatol. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
The influence of abiotic environmental factors on the period of activity of a single group of South American common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus, Callitrichidae, Primates) was investigated under semi-free conditions. A group of eight members had a territory consisting of a heated wooden hut with a veranda, surrounded by an open area with a few trees (ca. 3.5 m high) and three runways made out of roofing slats, on which feeding places and sleeping boxes were fixed. The food supply was held constant throughout the observation period with respect to amount, composition and spatial distribution. From July to November 1995, the times of the onset and cessation of activity were determined using a video camera. An electronic weather station recorded the temperature, humidity, air pressure, wind speed, wind direction, precipitation, and light intensity at intervals of 5 min. There was a linear correlation between day light length and the length of the period of activity over a day length of 10 to 14 hr. With shorter day lengths, the marmosets were also active during the twilight, whereas with longer day lengths a sleep phase during the late morning was introduced. Ambient temperature and humidity had also an effect on the time when activity began or ceased. Callithrix jacchus has one of the longest activity periods within the Callitrichidae. The time of sunrise or sunset, temperature, and humidity accounted for 66.2% of the variation in the time when activity began and 75.5% of the variance in the cessation of activity of the study group within the multivariate model. The results from the present study add to the indications that in the Callitrichidae there is a strong selection pressure for the highest possible energy saving during the comparatively long phase of inactivity.
Abnormal behavior, ranging from motor stereotypies to self-injurious behavior, has been documented in captive nonhuman primates, with risk factors including nursery rearing, single housing, and veterinary procedures. Much of this research has focused on macaque monkeys; less is known about the extent of and risk factors for abnormal behavior in baboons. Because abnormal behavior can be indicative of poor welfare, either past or present, the purpose of this study was to survey the presence of abnormal behavior in captive baboons and to identify potential risk factors for these behaviors with an aim of prevention. Subjects were 144 baboons (119 females, 25 males) aged 3-29 (median = 9.18) years temporarily singly housed for research or clinical reasons. A 15-min focal observation was conducted on each subject using the Noldus Observer® program. Abnormal behavior was observed in 26% of the subjects, with motor stereotypy (e.g., pace, rock, swing) being the most common. Motor stereotypy was negatively associated with age when first singly housed (P < 0.005) while self-directed behavior (e.g., hair pull, self-bite) was positively associated with the lifetime number of days singly housed (P < 0.05) and the average number of blood draws per year (P < 0.05). In addition, abnormal appetitive behavior was associated with being male (P < 0.05). Although the baboons in this study exhibited relatively low levels of abnormal behavior, the risk factors for these behaviors (e.g., social restriction, routine veterinary procedures, and sex) appear to remain consistent across primate species. Am. J. Primatol. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
The developmental origin of abnormal behaviors is generally associated with early rearing environments that lack sufficient physical and sensory stimulation. However, other factors should also be considered. A large sample of captive chimpanzees (128 males and 140 females) was surveyed for the presence or absence of 18 abnormal behaviors. Origin variables included the subject's source (zoo, pet, performer, or laboratory), rearing (mother- or hand-reared), and sex. Animals were assessed while held at the Primate Foundation of Arizona, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, or White Sands Research Center. There was a confound among origin variables; more hand-reared animals than expected were from laboratories. Logistic regression tested the relationship of rearing and source, with sex as a secondary predictor variable, to each of the abnormal behaviors. There was no clear association between any abnormal behavior and source. However, for coprophagy, relative to animals from the laboratory, zoo animals tended to show a higher prevalence, while performers tended to show a lower prevalence (when rearing and sex were controlled). Rocking and self-sucking were significantly more likely in hand-reared animals. Coprophagy and depilation of self were significantly more likely in mother-reared animals. When rearing and source were statistically controlled, the only significant sex difference was a higher prevalence of coprophagy in females and a higher prevalence of rocking in males. In a second, smaller sample of 25 males and 33 females from Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, no significant sex association was found for coprophagy, urophagy, rocking, or self-depilation. In this second sample, coprophagy was also significantly more likely in mother-reared than hand-reared subjects. The association of some abnormal behaviors with mother-rearing suggests that some form of social learning may be involved in the origin of some of these behavior patterns. This indicates that some abnormal behaviors may not be always be indicative of reduced psychological well-being in captive chimpanzees.
The proportion of total abnormal behavior vs. proportion of time spent singly housed before 48 months of age for mother-reared, experimental-nursery-reared, and clinical-nursery-reared subjects. Proportions arcsine transformed.
To identify factors predicting abnormal behavior in laboratory monkeys, we observed all available singly housed 4- to 11-year-old male pigtailed macaques (Macaca nemestrina), the species/age/sex group most likely to be referred to the Washington National Primate Research Center's Psychological Well-Being Program for behavioral assessment. Of the 87 subjects, 29 had been referred to the program whereas 58 had not. Abnormal behavior was unrelated to the subject's housing location (biocontainment vs. other facility) or invasiveness of research. Nursery-reared subjects displayed more abnormal behavior than mother-reared subjects. Across and within rearing categories, the proportion of the first 48 months of life spent singly housed was positively related to the amount of abnormal behavior at maturity. This effect was stronger for subjects separated from the mother for clinical rather than experimental reasons, and least for mother-reared subjects. Locomotor stereotypy, by far the most frequent form of abnormal behavior, was positively related to time in single housing but was unrelated to rearing. These results reinforce the importance of tactile social contact during juvenility for the prevention of abnormal behavior in social primates. They also suggest that self-directed abnormal behaviors and locomotor stereotypies have different etiologies.
The development of a functional vascular tree within the primate ovary is critical for reproductive health. To determine the efficacy of contrast agents to image the microvascular environment within the primate ovary, contrast ultrasonography was performed in six reproductive-aged female common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) during the late luteal phase of the cycle, following injection of Sonovue™. Regions of interest (ROIs), representing the corpus luteum (CL) and noncorpus luteum ovarian tissue (NCLOT), were selected during gray-scale B-mode ultrasound imaging. The magnitude of backscatter intensity of CL and NCLOT ROIs were calculated in XnView, post hoc: subsequent gamma-variate modeling was implemented in Matlab to determine perfusion parameters. Histological analysis of these ovaries revealed a total of 11 CL, nine of which were identified during contrast ultrasonography. The median enhancement ratio was significantly increased in the CL (5.54AU; 95% CI -2.21-68.71) compared to the NCLOT (2.82AU; 95% CI 2.73-15.06; P < 0.05). There was no difference in time parameters between the CL and NCLOT. An additional avascular ROI was identified in the ovary of Animal 5, both histologically and by ultrasonography. This cystic ROI displayed a markedly lower enhancement ratio (0.79AU) and higher time parameters than mean CL and NCLOT, including time to peak and time to wash out. These data demonstrate, for the first time, the ability of commercially available contrast agents, to differentiate structures within the nonhuman primate ovary. Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography has a promising future in reproductive medicine. Am. J. Primatol. 00:1-9, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Troglodytella abrassarti is an intestinal entodiniomorphid ciliate commonly diagnosed in the feces of wild and captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Entodiniomorphids could be considered to have a mutualistic relationship with the great apes, in that the ciliates benefit from the intestinal ecosystem of the host, while also contributing to the fiber fermentation process. We examined the effect of diet on the infection intensities of T. abrassarti in two captive chimpanzees in the Liberec Zoo, Czech Republic. The chimpanzees were fed a low-fiber diet (LFD) with 14% neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and a high-fiber diet (HFD; 26% NDF) for 10 days with one transition, and two 10-day adaptation periods. Fecal samples were examined coproscopically with the merthiolate-iodine-formaldehyde concentration (MIFC) technique, in order to quantify the number of ciliates per gram of feces. A significant trend of increasing T. abrassarti numbers was observed when the animals were fed the LFD, compared to when they were fed the HFD. Our results suggest, however, that infection intensities of T. abrassarti in captive chimpanzees are not influenced primarily by the amount of fiber in the diet, but rather by the dietary starch concentration (HFD: 1%; LFD: 8%).
In some primate species dominance rank of males is correlated with reproductive success, whereas in other species this relationship is inconsistent. Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus) live in a promiscuous mating system in which males are ranked in a dominance hierarchy that influences their access to females. High-ranking males usually monopolize fertile females during their estrous period and show increased mating activities. Subadult males generally rank below adult males. For Barbary macaque females in the Gibraltar colony, there was no correlation between dominance status and reproductive success. Paternity data for 31 offspring collected over four consecutive breeding seasons were used to test whether male social rank was associated with reproductive success and whether reproductive success was mainly confined to a small number of males. Genetic variation was assessed using 14 microsatellite markers for a dataset of 127 individuals sampled in all five social groups of the Gibraltar colony. Paternity analysis was conducted for offspring in one social group only, where all in-group males were sampled. Eighty-three percent of the offspring could be assigned to an in-group candidate father; none of the extra-group males appeared to have sired an infant. Male dominance rank was not found to contribute to the observed variation in male reproductive output. Fifty-nine percent of the offspring was sired by two low-ranking males, whereas the two top-ranking males sired one-fifth. A highly significant correlation was found for male age and dominance rank. Reproductive success of subadult males might be explained by the gap in the age distribution of male group members. These missing prime males are usually regarded as serious competitors for older males. Subadult males may have gained easier access to females in their absence. In addition, the presence of inbreeding avoidance mechanisms, which might also have overpowered possible rank effects, cannot be excluded.
The common marmoset is one of the few callitrichid species that is not threatened or endangered in the wild, and is widely used in biomedical research, yet relatively little is understood about its digestive physiology. Dietary specialization on plant exudates has lead to relatively reduced small intestines, yet the common marmoset has exceptional dietary breadth, allowing it to successfully utilize a variety of habitats. We predicted that passive, paracellular nutrient absorption would be used by the common marmoset to a greater extent than in other non-flying mammals. We measured the bioavailability and rates of absorption of two metabolically inert carbohydrates not transported by mediated pathways (L-rhamnose and cellobiose, molecular masses of 164 and 342, respectively) to measure paracellular uptake, and of a non-metabolized D-glucose analog (3-O-methyl-D-glucose) to measure total uptake by both mediated and paracellular pathways. We found high bioavailability of 3-O-methyl-D-glucose (83+/-5%), and much higher bioavailability of the paracellular probes than in similarly sized non-flying mammals (30+/-3% and 19+/-2% for L-rhamnose and cellobiose, respectively). Passive, paracellular nutrient absorption accounts for around 30% of total glucose absorption in common marmosets and intestinal permeability is significantly higher than in humans, the only other species of primate measured to date. This may allow the common marmoset to maintain high digestive efficiency when feeding on higher quality foods (fruit, arthropods, gums with higher proportions of simple sugars), in spite of relatively reduced small intestines correlated with adaptations for fermentative digestion of plant gums. We find no evidence to support, in primates, the hypothesis that reliance on paracellular nutrient absorption should increase with body size in mammals, but suggest instead that it may be associated with small body size and/or taxon-specific adaptations to diet.
Iron storage disease (ISD) in lemurs has been reported since as early as the 1960s, and in the 1980s was demonstrated to be a consistent finding in postmortem investigations of captive lemurs. Since then this disease has consistently been diagnosed at the point of necropsy. In the current study we describe a preclinical screening procedure, as well as the quantified preventive effects of dietary intervention upon iron absorption. Twenty-three individual lemurs of four species were initially tested with the transferrin saturation test (%TS); 21 of these animals were on conventional zoo diets, and two were fed a specific diabetic diet. Initially, 20 of 21 lemurs on conventional zoo diets were demonstrated to have %TS levels above the normal range for humans; 17 of these lemurs were in the category (for humans) of excessive iron absorption. A dietary change aimed at reducing dietary iron and vitamin C levels and increasing the levels of iron-chelating tannins and/or phytates was instigated. After the animals were retested, a matched-pair comparison of %TS values before and after the diet change revealed significantly (P=0.038, n=7) lower %TS values after the diet change. All species averages were in the human hyperabsorption range on conventional zoo diets (n=21). No species averages were in that range after the dietary change (n=18). The results indicate that further investigations into the use of %TS testing in lemur husbandry, and specific preventive dietary measures, should be conducted.
Primate infants require extensive maternal investment, and lactation is the most expensive aspect of this investment. However, the relationship between maternal condition and milk composition has been largely uninvestigated in primates. To better understand this relationship, I collected mid-lactation milk samples from 46 captive multiparous rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) at the Caribbean Primate Research Center, Sabana Seca Field Station, Puerto Rico. The maternal variables assessed were age, weight, weight for crown-rump length (CRL), and presence of parasites. Additionally the analysis included infant age, weight, and sex. Protein concentration in milk showed little interindividual variation, whereas fat had a high variance. Mothers without the lower intestinal parasite Balantidium coli had a significantly higher fat concentration in milk than mothers with B. coli, but other parasite species (Trichuris trichiura and Strongyloides fulleborni) were not associated with milk fat concentration. Females with younger infants had a higher fat concentration in their milk than mothers with older infants; however, the association between B. coli and milk fat remained significant after controlling for infant age. These results, obtained from a well fed captive population, indicate that even small differences among mothers are associated with milk composition.
Food availability for Cao Vit gibbons in Bangliang Nature Reserve from January to December 2009.
Time allocated to different activities across a 24-hr day by two Cao Vit gibbon groups between January and December 2009 in Bangliang, China.
Dietary pattern (percent time feeding on different food types) of two Cao Vit gibbon groups between January and Decmeber 2009 in Bangliang, China.
Feeding time allocated to different food types by two Cao Vit gibbon groups between January and December 2009 in Bangliang, China.
The Cao Vit gibbon is a critically endangered species with only about 110 individuals remaining in a degraded karst forest along the China-Vietnam border. Behavioral data from this site are particularly useful in understanding gibbon behavioral adaptations to different sets of ecological conditions and will contribute to the conservation of the species. We studied seasonal variation in the time budget and diet of the Cao Vit gibbon in response to variation in food availability and ambient temperature by observing two groups for 1,379 hr between January and December 2009. We used 5-min scan samples to record the activity of gibbons. Both ambient temperature and food availability varied from month to month. Gibbon groups increased resting time and huddled together in sleeping places in cold months. Gibbons spent more time feeding on fruit when fruit was more abundant suggesting that fruit was their preferred food. Alternatively, leaf eating was negatively correlated with leaf availability which suggested that leaves may be used as a fallback food. Gibbons increased their diet diversity when they ate more leaves. This might be a strategy to cope with toxins or digestion inhibitor accumulation associated with feeding from a limited number of leaf species. Individuals consumed more buds when Broussonetia papyrifera produced buds in March and April. During this period, they decreased traveling time and engaged in less frequent social interactions. Gibbons spent more time searching for and feeding on invertebrates during June and October. However, we did not collect data on invertebrate abundance and therefore cannot determine the relationship between invertebrate feeding and availability. We conclude that flexibility in consuming diverse food types and food species, and in responding to the availability of preferred foods, has enabled the Cao Vit gibbon to survive in a degraded karst forest habitat.
This research focuses on identifying the principal habitat characteristics that influence the presence and abundance of mantled howlers in forest fragments. We provide information on the demography of several fragmented Alouatta palliata mexicana subpopulations at Los Tuxtlas, Mexico, and relate this to the biogeographical and floristic characteristics of the forest fragments inhabited. The most important habitat characteristics related to the presence and abundance of howlers in the fragments were fragment size and floristic diversity. On the other hand, some evidence suggests that given the conditions under which howlers in our study area live (i.e., small and degraded fragments with high densities), secondary vegetation may be beneficial for the survival of the howlers. Finally, we discuss the possibility that the very low immature-to-female ratio (IFR) in the groups, and the lack of juveniles found in many of the study groups may be due to high mortality rates in immatures. A reduction in food availability because of the high population densities of these groups may be responsible for this process.
Understanding the determinants of animal abundance has become more vital as ecologists are increasingly asked to apply their knowledge to the construction of informed management plans. However, there are few general models are available to explain variation in abundance. Some notable exceptions are studies of folivorous primates, in which the protein-to-fiber ratio of foods has been shown to predict biomass. Here we examine the generality of Milton's [American Naturalist 114:363-378, 1979] protein/fiber model by providing a detailed analysis of diet selection in black-and-white colobus monkeys (Colobus guereza), and applying the model to populations shown to be stable; an assumption not previously examined. Based on observations of two groups of black-and-white colobus in Kibale National Park, Uganda, and one group in a forest fragment, we documented that the animals selected young leaves that had more protein, were more digestible, and had a higher protein-to-fiber ratio than mature leaves. The mature leaves did not differ from young leaves with respect to secondary compounds or mineral content (with the exceptions of copper and zinc). All of the colobus groups selected foods with a high protein-to-fiber ratios. However, one group also selected more digestible foods, and in another group, foraging efforts were positively related to zinc and negatively related to potassium. Previous studies that examined Milton's protein/fiber model did not demonstrate that the study populations were stable. If some populations were not at carrying capacity, then the correlations drawn between food availability and/or quality and folivore biomass may have been spurious. To address this issue, we censused a series of forest fragments in 1995 and again in 2000. We found that the populations in these fragments had declined from 165 in 1995 to 119 animals in 2000. However, based on evidence of population stability and lack of forest disturbance, we concluded that five of the original populations were stable. The biomass of these populations was related to the protein-to-fiber ratio of the fragment's trees. Combining our data with published data, we demonstrate that the protein-to-fiber ratios of mature leaves available to these folivorous primates accounted for 87% of the variance in their biomass.
Although primates are hunted on a global scale, some species are protected against harassment and killing by taboos or religious doctrines. Sites where the killing of sacred monkeys or the destruction of sacred groves is forbidden may be integral to the conservation of certain species. In 2004, as part of a distribution survey of Sclater's guenon (Cercopithecus sclateri) in southern Nigeria, we investigated reports of sacred monkeys in the Igbo-speaking region of Nigeria. We confirmed nine new sites where primates are protected as sacred: four with tantalus monkeys (Chlorocebus tantalus) and five with mona monkeys (Cercopithecus mona). During 2004-2006, we visited two communities (Akpugoeze and Lagwa) previously known to harbor sacred populations of Ce. sclateri to estimate population abundance and trends. We directly counted all groups and compared our estimates with previous counts when available. We also estimated the size of sacred groves and compared these with grove sizes reported in the literature. The mean size of the sacred groves in Akpugoeze (2.06 ha, n = 10) was similar to others in Africa south of the Sahel, but larger than the average grove in Lagwa (0.49 ha, n = 15). We estimated a total population of 124 Sclater's monkeys in 15 groups in Lagwa and 193 monkeys in 20 groups in Akpugoeze. The Akpugoeze population was relatively stable over two decades, although the proportion of infants declined, and the number of groups increased. As Sclater's monkey does not occur in any official protected areas, sacred populations are important to the species' long-term conservation. Despite the monkeys' destruction of human crops, most local people still adhere to the custom of not killing monkeys. These sites represent ideal locations in which to study the ecology of Sclater's monkey and human-wildlife interactions.
Two species of frugivorous atelids, Ateles chamek and Lagothrix cana, occur in southwestern Brazilian Amazonia. Populations were surveyed at 36 sites in the state of Rondônia. Ateles chamek is widespread, but the distribution of L. cana is limited by a combination of riverine barriers and ecological factors, possibly including competition with A. chamek. Groups of L. cana were generally larger and more abundant than those of A. chamek, even in syntopy. The transitional forest that predominates in the extreme south of Rondônia (Hylea-cerrado) is not a barrier to either species, with both species being tolerant of habitat disturbance when hunting pressure is low.
I investigated the ecological correlates of abundance in the Tana mangabey (Cercocebus galeritus), one of the world's most endangered primates, with the goal of recommending management strategies. I systematically selected 31 forest fragments throughout the mangabey's 60-km distribution along the lower Tana River in southeastern Kenya. Within the 31 fragments, I measured vegetation structure, food abundance, and human forest product use in 107 belt transects, and conducted 370 mangabey surveys. I used a weighted multiple regression analysis to determine whether there was a dependence between the selected forest attributes and the mean number of mangabey groups per fragment. Fragment area and density of trees > or =10 cm diameter at breast height (DBH) were the only variables that significantly correlated with the variation in mangabey abundance. No additional variables were significant when the analysis was limited to forest fragments inside the Tana River Primate National Reserve (TRPNR) or to fragments outside the TRPNR. When I estimated the resources available before recent human forest product use by adding nonharvested and harvested variables, the total basal area of the top 15 food species became significant. This was only within the TRPNR, however. Management, therefore, should focus on increasing forest area, density of trees > or =10 cm DBH, and coverage of food trees throughout the mangabey's distribution. Solutions must be found for the problem of forest clearing, and forest product use must be better managed to protect the habitat of this critically endangered primate. The significance of food abundance only within the TRPNR suggests a need to collect dietary data from mangabey groups in fragments toward the southern limit of the mangabey's distribution, where plant species composition differs from that in fragments in which dietary data have been previously collected.
Top-cited authors
Paul A. Garber
  • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Charles T Snowdon
  • University of Wisconsin–Madison
Colin Austin Chapman
  • George Washington University
Carol A Shively
  • Wake Forest School of Medicine
Alejandro Estrada
  • Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México