The 81st Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2012)

Effects of anthropogenic habitat disturbance on the distribution of the diurnal primate community in northwestern Bolivia: using census and remote sensing techniques


Department of Anthropology, Northern Illinois University

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In this study I examined population densities and habitat preferences of the primate community in northwestern Bolivia at Camp Callimico. I surveyed the diurnal primate community between June and July 2011 on 8 km of transects which I walked at 1/km hour. For each group of species sighted, I recorded its location, size, composition, and activity, as well as the height of the first individual sighted, and the habitat it occupied. In addition, I established 45, 10 m² botanical plots located at 100 m intervals along transects. I recorded the DBH, crown size of trees, as well as the number of stems of all vegetation in plots. I observed 10 species of diurnal primates, of these Saguinus fuscicollis had the highest density (25.1 individuals/km²) and Callimico goeldii had the lowest density (3.3/km²). Primary, secondary, and edge habitats were the most abundant along transects and the majority of primates were found in primary habitat. Disturbed and edge habitats created by human activity had fewer primates than primary habitats, but more primates than other habitats along transects. Results demonstrate that primary forests in this area support larger populations of primates than disturbed habitats, but that some species are still common in areas with anthropogenic disturbances. DEMS (Digital Elevation Models) of northwestern Bolivia from previous years were compared with current satellite imagery using remote sensing to create predictive models for species distribution and richness in this region. These results are important for understanding the effects of anthropogenic habitat disturbance on wild primate communities.

This study was funded by the Fresno Chaffee Zoo, and the Department of Anthropology and Center for Latino and Latin American Studies at Northern Illinois University.

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