Abstract # 113:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 18, 2011 09:30 AM-09:45 AM: Session 16 (Salon F (Sixth Floor)) Oral Presentation


A. H. Eury, S. Bernardes, A. Presotto and M. Vogel
University of Georgia, 112 Hooper Street, Psychology Building, Athens, GA 30605, USA

Nonhuman primates’ travel paths are influenced by environmental features such as topography. Using GIS analysis, this work examined how slope guides bearded capuchin monkeys’ travel paths in northeastern Brazil, at a site characterized by abrupt elevation changes. Optimization theory predicts that travelers should prefer to minimize cost. Therefore, we expected that the costs of capuchin daily routes would resemble modeled least cost paths. Coordinates from daily routes of wild capuchin monkeys were collected at five-minute intervals. These routes were analyzed a) for the entire route and b) between stop points, defined as points at least 30 m apart where monkeys remained for 10 minutes or more. We defined least cost paths for entire routes from dawn to dusk, and for observed travel segments between stop points using a digital elevation model (NASA/METI) of the area and a mathematical model of energetic costs of travel. Theoretical costs of actual travel were compared descriptively to theoretical costs of least cost paths. The costs of segmented least cost paths were more similar to actual travel than the dawn-to-dusk least cost model (actual = 0.46 h; segmented = 0.29 h; dawn-to-dusk = 0.24 h). Nevertheless, the costs of actual travel routes were 60% greater than costs of segmented least cost paths, suggesting that the energetic costs of travel across slopes cannot completely account for travel patterns of capuchin monkeys.