Abstract # 86:

Scheduled for Saturday, June 21, 2008 04:00 PM-04:10 PM: Session 11 (Meeting Room 2DEF) Oral Presentation

An evaluation of the potential long-term effects of radio-collars on the reproduction and demography of owl monkeys (Aotus azarai) in Formosa, Argentina

C. P. Juarez, W. J. Berg and E. Fernandez-Duque
Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas, Corrientes, Formosa, Argentina
     During the last decade there has been a proliferation of field studies taking advantage of invasive and non-invasive techniques. One of them, the fitting of radio-collars, is an invasive procedure that has not yet been evaluated for its long-term effects on individuals. To evaluate these potential long-term effects, we compared groups of owl monkeys where reproducing individuals have been fitted with bead and radio-collars since 2000 with groups in a control unstudied population. During October 2006, we collected information on group size, age structure and infant presence from both populations. The average group sizes of the control (2.8 ± 0.7, n=15 groups) and study populations (3.1 ± 0.7, n=23 groups) were not significantly different [U=133.5, z=-1.2, p=0.208]. The study population was 21% infants (n=15), 14% juveniles (n=10) and 65% adults (n=46), whereas the control population included 14% infants (n=6), 14%juveniles (n=6) and 71% adults (n=30). Sixty-percent of the study groups and 40% of the control groups had infants born during the 2005 birth season. Based on the collected information, it is apparent that the study population has not been affected by the long-term research, or by the capture and fitting of radio-collars. In conclusion, our findings provide evidence that the fitting of radio-collars has not impacted the reproductive abilities of free-ranging owl monkeys.