Abstract # 29:

Scheduled for Saturday, September 17, 2011 01:30 PM-01:45 PM: Session 8 (Meeting Room 408) Oral Presentation


C. J. Scarry
Stony Brook University, Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences, Stony Brook, NY 11794-4364, USA

Recent work has suggested that the importance of between-group contest competition (BGC) in determining the availability of food resources in a group’s home range has been underestimated in primates. Here I tested whether BGC and group dominance in tufted capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) had a significant effect on core area quality. I followed four habituated groups in Iguazú National Park, Argentina, for 16 months, recording group location (15-minute intervals). I identified the total home range (95% kernel density estimate) and core area (50% kernel) for each group. I used a stratified random sampling to place 20x50 m botanical plots (N=80) to measure the availability of food species within each group’s core area. I used the outcome of decided intergroup encounters to construct a between-group dominance hierarchy. The average core area size was 29.9 ha (25.2% of a home range) and was positively correlated with group dominance rank (Spearman rank correlation, p=0.025). The total food availability in the core area was not correlated with group dominance (p>0.1). However, adjusting for the degree of home range overlap suggested that dominant groups may have higher per capita access to food (p=0.025). These results suggest that Argentine tufted capuchins defend access to resources, which may improve female energy balance and increase reproductive success in dominant groups. Supported by National Science Foundation DDIG(BCS-0752683), Wenner-Gren Foundation, Leakey Foundation and National Geographic.