Abstract # 99:

Scheduled for Friday, June 20, 2008 05:00 PM-07:00 PM: Session 12 (Ball Rooms A and B) Poster Presentation

Gastrointestinal parasites of owl monkeys (Aotus azarai) living in edge and non-edge territories in a gallery forest in Northern Argentina

J. P. Perea-Rodriguez1,5, A. M. Milano2, E. Fernandez-Duque3,4 and B. E. Osherov2
1DuMond Conservancy , 14805 SW 216th Street, Miami, Florida 33170, USA, 2Catedra de Parasitologia, Faculltad de Ciencias Esactas y Naturales y Agrimensura, Universidad nacional del Nordeste, Av. Libertad 5470 (3400) Corrientes, Argentina ., 3Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 4Centro de Ecologia Aplicada del Litoral, Conicet, Argentina, 5Florida International University, Miami, Florida.
     Human-induced forest fragmentation has been associated with increases in the parasite load of primate social groups. To evaluate the relationship between forest edges and parasites in unmodified habitats, we examined the gastrointestinal parasites of a population of wild owl monkeys in an unlogged gallery forest that is surrounded by unmodified grasslands. Between July and August 2007, we collected 51 fecal samples from 22 individuals in 11 social groups and from 5 solitary individuals. To evaluate possible forest edge effects on the parasite load, we identified the helminthes and protozoa in the samples, and we compared the number of parasite species found in groups whose territories were (n=6) or were not (n=4) on the edge of the forest. The number of parasite species found in fecal samples from edge-groups (median=1.75) and non-edge groups (median=2.4) were not significantly different [Mann Whitney Test, U=7.5, n1=6, n2= 4, p=0.3]. The helminthes in the samples consisted of Strongyloides sp. (31% of samples), Uncinaria sp. (17%), Taenia sp. (1%), and Trypanoxyrious sp (23%), whereas the protozoa included Entamoeba sp. (23%), Blastocystis hominis (27%), Isospora sp. (47%), Giarda sp. (7%), Endolimax nana (23%) and an unspecified amoeba (4%). Our analyses suggest that monkeys living on the forest edge did not have a higher parasite load than monkeys living isolated from edge habitats.