Abstract # 138:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 20, 2009 06:30 PM-09:00 PM: Session 14 (Mission Bay Ballroom CDE) Poster Presentation


L. Frisoli, A. Parrish and J. Chism
Winthrop University, Department of Biology, Rock Hill, SC 29733, USA

We observed sakis, previously identified as Pithecia monachus, in Loreto, Peru. Recent taxonomic studies raise questions about the appropriate classification of Pithecia species and two species may be present in the area. Sakis at the study site show two distinct color patterns with one morph having distinct white malar stripes, the other indistinct malar stripes and a patch of brown hair on the head. Our goal was to determine if the two morphs occurred only in separate groups and, if so, whether habitat and resource use differed between the morphs. Using GIS technology, we developed digital maps of sightings of groups of the two morphs, habitats types and resources used by these groups. Between June and August 2008 we searched for saki groups and, when contacted, followed and observed them using scan sampling [one scan every two minutes, n= 204] until contact was lost. Data collected during scans included habitat type; number, activity and location relative to other group members of visible sakis; age-sex class and morph. We found that the morphs form separate groups in the study area suggesting the presence of two taxa and that the two morphs differ in habitat preferences with one morph [with white malar stripes, 4 groups, 15 total contacts] preferring Mauritia swamps, while the other [7 groups, 24 total contacts] being more generalized in its use of habitat.