Abstract # 100:

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

Preliminary study of gastrointestinal helminths in howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata) living in a cacao plantation in southern Mexico

G. Trejo-Macías1, A. Estrada1 and M. Á. Mosqueda Cabrera2
1Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México, Mexico City 04510 , Mexico, 2Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana
     The Mexican mantled howler monkey (Alouatta palliata mexicana) is endangered, mainly as a result of habitat loss and fragmentation from human activity. Little is known about the gastrointestinal parasite communities affecting populations in continuous and in fragmented forests. Even less information exists for populations of mantled howlers that have colonized arboreal agroecosystems. We report the results of a survey of gastrointestinal helminths found in fecal samples (n=81) of an isolated group (n=24 individuals) of mantled howlers existing in a cacao plantation (12 ha), shaded by large planted crowned trees, in Comalcalco, Tabasco, Mexico. We further compared the data with those from a concurrent survey of parasites in populations of the same species in continuous and fragmented habitat. Six parasite species (unidentified coccidia, unidentified nematode, Eimeria spp., unidentified trematode, Trypanoxyuris spp., Controrchis biliophilus) were detected in the fecal samples [C. biliophilus presented the highest prevalence - 24.69%; c2, a=0.05], but only the last three were shared with populations in the continuous and in the fragmented habitats. Parasite prevalence did not differ between the cacao and the other two habitats. However, the shared parasite species had lower prevalence (3.70% vs 8.64%) in the agroecosystem. We found in the fecal samples of the howlers in the cacao plantation a protozoa (a. coccidia) that is associated with domestic animals which has widespread implications for conservation.