Abstract # 14:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 21, 2007 10:45 AM-11:00 AM: Session 3 (North Main Hall F/G) Symposium

Precious Variability: Behavior, Ecology and Conservation of Pygmy Marmosets in Ecuador

S. de la Torre1,2, C. T. Snowdon3 and P. Yepez2
1Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Quito, Ecuador, 2Fundacion Vihoma, 3University of Wisconsin, Madison
     We report significant population differences in the structure of two vocalizations in 14 groups of pygmy marmosets (Callithrix pygmaea) from 5 distinct populations in northeastern Ecuador. We analyzed Trills and J calls from 2 adult animals in each group. Although individuals and groups within a population differed in call structure, we found consistent structural differences at a population level for Trills and J-calls. Pair-wise comparisons [ANOVAs and Fisher’s PLSD tests; a=0.05] for the call types show San Pablo and Amazoonico as populations differing the most compared to the other populations; Hormiga and Zancudococha showed the least differences in call structure. In previous studies we also documented interpopulation variability in exudate feeding (Yépezm et al., 2005). These findings suggest that the loss of one population may imply the loss of unique behavioral variation and are important for planning future conservation actions, a priority considering the current conservation status of this species in Ecuador. We have monitored populations in northeastern Ecuador since 1996 and found that pygmy marmosets are often absent in disturbed habitats. We evaluated the degree of habitat disturbance at regional and local scales and found that about 75–85% of the gallery forests inhabited by pygmy marmosets is affected by logging and agriculture. Based on these results, we proposed to include pygmy marmosets in the list of Vulnerable species in Ecuador. Supported by MH029775.