Abstract # 13219 Event # 55:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 9, 2018 04:15 PM-04:30 PM: (Regency East 1 ) Oral Presentation


M. Baker
Rhode Island College, Anthropology Department, Providence, RI 02908-1991, USA
     Nonhuman primates that raid trash may experience nutritional deficiencies, increased aggression, and pose a health risk to humans. The effectiveness of enclosed trash huts to prevent access by two troops of capuchin monkeys was tested at the Refugio de Vida Silvestre Curú. In 2015 behavioral data were collected before and after the trash was enclosed. Scans were conducted at 5-minute intervals when the monkeys arrived near the enclosures, tallying the behavior and the food items consumed: trash, provisioned foods, and natural foods. Camera traps were used to verify that the trash enclosures were used and locked by humans. Follow-up data were collected in May 2016, January 2017, and January 2018. The trash enclosures effectively prevented theft by the monkeys. Steel mesh corrodes and must be maintained to prevent rust. Wood huts are more durable and more difficult for monkeys to climb and manipulate. Both troops also modified ranging patterns to arrive when tourists were present. The activity budgets of the monkeys were not altered by the introduction of the trash enclosures, but, there was a significant difference (ANOVA p= 0.0018) in the types of food consumed the monkeys: both troops increased the time spent consuming (in)directly provisioned and stolen foods. In 2018, one troop monopolized the area for food raiding. Additional research will focus on a program to reduce wildlife feeding by tourists.