The 82nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2013)

Resource use by yellow-tailed woolly monkeys in disturbed and undisturbed forests


1Interdepartamental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences - IDPAS, Stony Brook University, 2Programa de Investigación, Yunkawasi, 3Museo de Historia Natural, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos

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Endemic of Peru’s northeastern cloud forests and classified as critically endangered by the IUCN, the yellow-tailed woolly monkey (Lagothrix flavicauda) subsists on a thin and fragmented band along the eastern slope of the Andes, between 1500 and 2700m asl. In order to investigate the effects of human disturbance, here we compare the use of space and diet of two groups in two different sites in Peru; an undisturbed forest in the Private Area of Conservation Abra Patricia - Alto Nieva, and a disturbed and fragmented forest in the district of Corosha. In the disturbed site, hunting for monkeys stopped 5 years ago, but pastures and crops still dominate the landscape. Groups of 11 and 14 individuals were followed all day for 7-20 days per month during 5 and 12 months respectively. Vegetation data was gathered through vegetation plots and transects. In both forests, trees with a DBH between 10-19.9 cm were the most predominant (47.6 and 52.4%), and the canopy height averaged 11.66±2.11m and 10.23±3.21m. In the undisturbed site, the group used a total of 69 ha, and in the disturbed site they used a total of 87 ha. Daily ranges averaged 818 and 1067 m, respectively. In the disturbed site, the group consumed 23 plant species, and in the undisturbed site 18 species, sharing 76% of the consumed items. Despite differences in disturbance, results for both sites were similar. Preliminarily, this suggests that yellow-tailed woolly monkeys may be less affected by human disturbance provided that it does not increase.

This research has been funded by ECOAN, Conservation International, Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation, and Mohammed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund.

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