Abstract # 1823 Event # 367:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 29, 2006 08:30 AM-09:30 PM: (Queen Elizabeth Theater) Plenary


PLENARY SESSION: Demographic Variability in Non-human Primates: Implications for Theory and Conservation

T. T. Struhsaker
Department of Biological Anthropology, Duke University, Box 90383, Durham, NC 27708, USA
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     Demographic parameters of non-human primates, like all other organisms, vary over time. They are not static. In spite of this, many contemporary models comparing multiple species treat these parameters as if they were. Population density, group size, age-sex composition, natality, and juvenile recruitment all show considerable variation within those populations that have been studied for multiple years. It is important to describe and understand this variance not only for the development of more realistic models, but also to clarify the status and trends of these populations in order to develop effective conservation management plans. A critical issue is distinguishing real demographic trends from the natural demographic variation that occurs between sites and that which occurs at a given site within and between years. With few exceptions, demographic data for most non-human primates are not amenable to life table analyses because observation conditions typically prevent collection of the data required. Instead, one must resort to evaluating demographic indices that serve as surrogates for more detailed and accurate data, such as that derived from life-time observations of recognizable individuals of known parentage. However, even with the most accurate and precise data, long-term monitoring is essential in order to understand the extent of and trends in demographic variation. Case studies will be evaluated from Africa and Latin America with emphasis on likely causal factors of demographic change, including habitat quality and disturbance, hunting pressure, disease, and predator-prey imbalance.