The 89th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2020)

Comparing activity budgets in female white-faced capuchin monkeys (Cebus capucinus) with and without infants in the edge and interior of a fragmented forest in Costa Rica


1Department of Sociology and Anthropology, James Madison University, 2La Suerte Biological Research Station, Maderas Rainforest Conservancy, 3Department of Anthropology, University of Waterloo, 4Department of Biology, Regis University

April 18, 2020 , Platinum Ballroom Add to calendar

Habitat loss results in isolated fragments of tropical rainforest, and threatens forest-living species. In this study, we examined the influence of anthropogenic edge effects on female white-faced capuchin monkeys (Cebus capucinus) with and without infants to determine whether proximity to forest edge influences activity budget. We conducted this study in a fragmented rainforest at La Suerte Biological Research Station (LSBRS), Costa Rica in summer 2019, and collected instantaneous scan samples on individual female capuchins every 2 minutes. We predicted that females would not show significant differences in activity budget across edge and interior habitat zones. We also expected that females with infants would rest more and travel less than females without infants, as carrying infants and lactating are energetically costly behaviors. Based on previous findings, we further predicted that females with and without infants would feed for equal amounts of time. As expected, females showed no overall differences in activity budget between forest edge and interior. Females with and without infants showed significant differences in activity budgets, but not in the ways anticipated. Throughout the site, females with infants fed less and rested more than females without infants. Our results are in line with published literature suggesting that female capuchins adjust their activity patterns to compensate for the energetic demands of infant care. Our results also support previous findings from LSBRS indicating capuchins do not show preference for forest edge or interior, further suggesting that proximity to forest edge has a neutral effect on female capuchin activity budgets.

Slides/Poster (pdf)