Abstract # 1019 Event # 130:

Scheduled for Friday, August 19, 2005 03:45 PM-04:00 PM: Session 10 (Mayfair Room) Oral Presentation

Conservation status of Cebus albifrons aequatorialis in forest fragments of coastal Manabí, Ecuador

K. Jack
Department of Anthropology, Tulane University, 1021 Audubon Street, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA
     Very little is known about Cebus albifrons aequatorialis, which is endemic to coastal Ecuador and currently listed as near threatened in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. In this study I provide a practical evaluation of the current conservation status of C. a. aequatorialis in Ecuador’s Manabí province. Manabí runs along the central coast of Ecuador, covering 350km of the country’s 2237km coastline. Manabí’s economy is based in agriculture and cattle ranching; factors that have lead to large-scale forest degradation. What remains are small, unconnected forest fragments ranging in size from 200–4000ha. Although Cebus are generally able to survive well in such fragmented habitats, previous studies of C. albifrons have shown that although the species can exist in high population densities (13 - 38 individuals/km2) they typically range over wide areas (>200 ha.). Our five month census of one of the largest fragments (3800 ha) in coastal Manabí found an extremely low population density (2.3 individulas/km2). Censuses of additional forest fragments have yielded similar findings (mean density 3.05 individulas/km2). Population densities were not significantly correlated with forest fragment size (r = -0.409, N = 4, P > 0.05), although small fragments contained fewer and smaller groups. In addition, our censuses have documented several local extinctions that have occurred in the last decade, even in the larger forest fragments. Collectively, these findings support the elevation of C. a. aequatorialis to the IUCN category of endangered.