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Behavior, Diet, and Habitat Use by Blonde Capuchin Monkeys (Sapajus flavius) in a Coastal Area Prone to Flooding: Direct Observations and Camera Trapping

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-531
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Primatology
Volume40
Issue number4-5
Early online date3 Sep 2019
DOIs
DateAccepted/In press - 16 Jul 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print - 3 Sep 2019
DatePublished (current) - 1 Oct 2019

Abstract

Coastal areas prone to flooding are relatively neglected in primate studies. Eight out of 29 known populations of Critically Endangered Sapajus flavius occur in areas very close to, or containing, mangrove and várzea (i.e., tidal forests) forests, suggesting that these habitats are important for the species. We monitored Sapajus flavius in a mosaic of mangrove forest, estuarine várzea forest, and terra firme forest (i.e., nonfloodable forest) in northeastern Brazil. We carried out the study through direct observations of the animals, tracking their signs and baited camera trapping, between January and December 2016. Direct observations and signs provided 292 records of Sapajus flavius: 61% in terra firme, 36% in várzea, and 3% in mangrove. We recorded 26 food items consumed: 17 plants and 9 animals. Camera trapping provided 396 records of the animals: 21% in terra firme, 73% in várzea, and 6% in mangrove. Concurrent visits to more than one camera trap station suggested fission–fusion behavior in Sapajus flavius. We recorded carried infants throughout 2016, suggesting the absence of reproductive seasonality in the species. Adult females carried infants on 68% of occasions, suggesting that they play a key role in infant care. Sapajus flavius was largely diurnal but showed some crepuscular activity. Agonistic behaviors, although rare, were positively related to the quantity of food available in the baited camera trap stations, while play behaviors were negatively related to food availability. Coastal areas prone to flood are used by Sapajus flavius, especially várzea, and thus they should receive wide attention from researchers and protection from the government to avoid local extinctions of Sapajus flavius and other primates inhabiting such areas in Brazil.

    Research areas

  • Activity pattern, Fission–fusion, Mangrove, Primates, Terra firme, Várzea, Wildlife monitoring

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