Abstract # 2732 Event # 81:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 20, 2009 09:25 AM-09:35 AM: Session 7 (Mission Bay Ballroom AB) Symposium


PRIMATE RESEARCH PROGRAMS IN TABASCO, MEXICO: FOLLOWING THE FIRST STEPS OF DR. SOUTHWICK WITH ALOUATTA STUDIES

J. C. Serio-Silva1, G. Pozo-Montuy1,2, Y. M. Bonilla-Sanchez1,2, H. M. Diaz-Lopez3, G. Zuñiga-Valencia4 and R. C. Kyes5
1Departamento de Biodiversidad y Ecologia Animal, Instituto de Ecologia AC, Xalapa, Veracruz 91070, Mexico, 2Instituto de Neuroetología, Universidad Veracruzana, Xalapa, Veracruz, México, 3Universidad Juárez Autónoma de Tabasco, 4Facultad de Biología-Córdoba, Univ. Veracruzana, 5Department of Psychology, Center for Global Field Study, and Washington National Primate Research Center, University of Washington
line
     One of the first inspirations to many young primatologists interested in studying howler monkeys (alouatta) is the manuscript published by Collias and Southwick in 1952. When members of our research team read that manuscript in the 1980s, a few other papers had already been published about alouatta in other localities; in Mexico, however, native primate studies were just beginning. Currently, Mexican alouatta species are considered endangered, and although some areas in southern Mexico have been intensively studied, detailed information about the distribution, ecology, behavior and conservation of this important primate genus throughout its entire range is limited. In the last several years, our team has conducted a number of studies of black howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra) in Tabasco, Mexico, a state where detailed information on this species previously has not been available. To date, we have collected and published information about A. pigra distribution and conservation status, habitat use in eucalyptus plantations, risks, unusual behaviors, and seed dispersal, among others. We also have conducted community outreach programs with local children focusing on primate conservation. From the results of our work, conservation management strategies have been developed which are supported by local authorities. All these efforts stem, in part, from that first paper published by Dr Southwick more than 50 years ago.