Abstract # 95:

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

The effects of anthropogenic pressure on the behaviour and demography of the black howler monkey (Alouatta pigra) in south-eastern Mexico

G. Pozo-Montuy1,2,3, J. C. Serio-Silva2 and Y. M. Bonilla-Sanchez1,2
1Instituto de Neuroetologia-Universidad Veracruzana, Xalapa, Veracruz 91000, Mexico, 2Instituto de Ecologia A.C. Departamento de Biodiversidad y Ecologia Animal, 3Universidad Juarez Autonoma de Tabasco
     In southern Mexico the transformation of rainforest to cropland and the removal of the resources of the original vegetation is a practice dating back to Pre-Hispanic times. Several primatologists have indicated that this has created fragmented landscapes and that primate species respond to the changes in two phases: first they adapt to the modification and then there is a change in the demography of the population. Based on this hypothesis, we carried out demographical studies over two year (2005-2006) on a population of the black howler monkey (228 troops, 1200 howler monkeys) in 256 fragments. We also registered behavioural data on one troop (randomly selected) during 12 months (2002). Our results indicate that Alouatta pigra exhibits unusual behaviour such as feeding, moving along and drinking from the ground, using barbed wire fences as corridors and obtaining food from tree plantations of exotic species. The howlers budgeted a similar amount of time in unusual behaviour in comparison with social activities (420 min). In demographic terms, we found that temporary human activity has less of an effect on the abundance and population structure of Alouatta pigra than permanent management activities do.