Abstract # 11:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 17, 2010 09:15 AM-09:25 AM: Session 3 (Medallion Ballroom B) Oral Presentation


COMPARATIVE POSITIONAL BEHAVIOR AND HABITAT USAGE OF COLOBUS VELLEROSUS AND CERCOPITHECUS CAMPBELLI LOWEI IN GHANA'S BOABENG FIEMA MONKEY SANCTUARY

R. Schubert and W. S. McGraw
The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA
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Field research has established behavioral plasticity as one of the hallmarks of the primate order. Nevertheless, the degree to which primate anatomy constrains primate positional behavior continues to be debated. Between January and October of 2009, we tested the hypothesis that positional behavior changes with habitat difference by collecting behavioral (maintenance activity, posture, locomotion) and habitat use (canopy height, support characteristics) data via 3-minute instantaneous focal sampling for the ursine colobus (Colobus vellerosus) and Lowe’s monkey (Cercopithecus campbelli lowei) in Ghana’s Boabeng Fiema Monkey Sanctuary (BFMS). The six monkey groups discussed here ranged across three architecturally distinct forest types: unlogged primary forest, mixed disturbed forest along a village edge and regenerating farmland. Positional behavior profiles were analyzed using G-tests [α=0.05]. We quantified differences in habitat structure using transect sampling along existing trails and plot sampling of additional areas. We collected data on adults of both sexes for two groups of C. vellerosus [12,388 observations] ranging through all forest types and 4 groups of C. campbelli lowei [9942 observations] utilizing mixed disturbed and primary forest. The data indicate that while several positional elements fluctuate with habitat heterogeneity, overall locomotor profiles remain conservative. When these results are compared with those from similar studies, we conclude that the more conservative positional behavior of C. vellerosus is a function of its larger body size.