Abstract # 26:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 19, 2008 05:00 PM-07:00 PM: Session 4 (Ball Rooms A and B) Poster Presentation


N. Shelmidine1,2,3, C. Borries2 and C. McCann3
1Wildlife Conservation Society/Prospect Park Zoo, Brooklyn, NY 11225, USA, 2Department of Anthropology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook NY 11794, 3Wildlife Conservation Society/Bronx Zoo, Bronx NY 10460
     Within phylogenetic limits (e.g., body mass) reproductive characteristics of a given species may vary between populations in response to ecological and social factors. For instance excellent nutritional conditions may accelerate the speed of reproduction. Other influencing factors are maternal experience or sex of the infant. Here we provide data for a medium-sized Asian colobine, the silvered leaf monkeys (Trachypithecus cristatus) housed at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo. Demographic data were available from the archives (1985 - 2007) and detailed behavioral data from a two year study (Nov 2002 - Jan 2005, 4,225 hours). The receptive period (n=68) was short as expected for one-male groups. Averaging about six months, the gestation period (n=12), determined here for the first time for the species, was similar to other colobines. Births occurred year round, at an early age (3 years, n=11) and at a fast rate (interbirth interval approximately 15 months, n=59). If the infant did not survive, the subsequent infant was born significantly earlier on average, about two months [Mann Whitney U Test, a=0.05]. Primiparous females tended to have a longer first interbirth interval but infant survival rates were similar and likely due to the lack of predation. Maternal investment was independent of the infant’s sex [Mann Whitney U Test, a=0.05].  Our results emphasize that when interpreted with caution, zoo populations yield realistic, reproductive values. Supported by the Wildlife Conservation Society (SSF 03-A6-SG).