1Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation, Virginia Tech, 2Cooperative Research Unit, Colorado State University, 3Duke University Lemur Center, Duke University
Saturday 8:30-8:45, 200ABC
Studies investigating predator-prey dynamics between primates and carnivores are limited given that carnivores are often rare or highly elusive and predation events are difficult to observe. Understanding how carnivores influence primate density and behavior is fundamental to the study of primate ecology and essential for their conservation. From June 2011 to March 2012 our team collected an average of four GPS points per day on a group of three silky sifakas, top 25 most endangered primates of the world, at the Anjanaharibe study site in the Makira Natural Park, NE Madagascar. In addition, our research team photographically sampled endemic and exotic carnivores, as well as humans using remote sensing cameras for 65 days during the course of this study. Using silky sifaka range and activity patterns, as well as photographically sampled data, we investigated the movement and activity patterns of silky sifakas based on the trap rates, movement, and range of carnivores and humans across the 10km2 study site. Additionally, we used two species interaction occupancy modeling to investigate the relationship between silky sifakas and their top predators. The findings of this research provide the first direct assessment of carnivore-primate dynamics in Madagascar’s eastern rainforest. Moreover, the combination of telemetry and photographically sampled data represents a new approach to understanding the relationship between carnivores and primates throughout a wide range of habitats.