Abstract # 13182 Event # 50:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 9, 2018 03:15 PM-03:30 PM: (Regency East 1 ) Oral Presentation


FIRST REPORT ON FARMERS’ PERCEPTIONS TOWARD CROP FEEDING BEHAVIOUR OF WHITE-FACED MONKEY (CEBUS IMITATOR) IN SOUTHWESTERN PANAMA

L. I. Loría Amores1,2, K. Morán Guerra3 and J. C. Serio Silva2
1Fundación Pro-Conservación de los Primates Panameños (FCPP), Panama 0816-07905, USA, 2Red de Biología y Conservación de Vertebrados, Instituto de Ecología A.C., Xalapa, México, 3Facultad de Ciencias Agropecuarias, Universidad de Panamá, Sede Chiriquí, República de Panamá
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     Studies carried out worldwide have documented negative attitudes of farmers toward crop feeding behaviour by nonhuman primates. Although there is some evidence that Panamanian farmers have cited crop feeding by white-faced monkey as a destructive behaviour, as far as we know, this has not been broadly assessed. We thus explored the perceptions of the corn farmers of the buffer zone of the Wildlife Refuge "Playa La Barqueta", using semi-structured interviews (n = 14) conducted between August and December 2016. Most farmers observed white-faced monkeys eating corn (90%) but reported that monkeys do not cause significant amounts of damage to maize fields (89%). Some farmers applied potentially harmful methods to protect crops (11%; e.g., shots in the air, stone throwing) and were aware that killing monkeys is illegal. When asked whether farmers would be willing to improve their farm environment for the welfare of white-faced monkeys, most of the respondents (62%) replied “yes” with the reason that the species would be known by future generations. These results suggest that corn farmers at the study site did not perceive white-faced monkeys as pests, and they expressed a potential acceptance of conserving the species.