Abstract # 80:

Scheduled for Saturday, September 17, 2011 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 14 (Salon G (Sixth Floor)) Poster Presentation


EFFECTS OF FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE STATUS ON ACTIVITY BUDGET, INGESTION RATES AND ENERGY INTAKE IN TUFTED CAPUCHIN MONKEYS (CEBUS APELLA)

E. Gonzales Valentin1 and C. J. Scarry2
1Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Facultad de Ciencias Biologicas, Lima, USA, 2Stony Brook University
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Nursing and carrying a dependent infant is energetically very demanding. To maintain their body condition, lactating females may, therefore, have to increase their energetic intake relative to pregnant and cycling females. Simultaneously, time is limited and tradeoffs, especially compromising social time, might be detrimental (e.g., social integration, socialization of infants). Here, we investigated variation in foraging strategies among female tufted capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) at Iguazú National Park, Argentina, in relation to their reproductive status. We used focal animal sampling to measure the activity budget and feeding rates for 22 females in four groups over a seven-month period. Although lactating females significantly reduced the overall amount of time dedicated to feeding and foraging relative to pregnant and cycling females (ANOVA with planned comparisons; p=0.027), this was not accompanied by a corresponding decrease in energy intake. Rather, lactating females increased energy intake (p=0.023), which they accomplished by increasing their feeding rate in fruit patches. These results suggest that lactating females offset their higher energetic demands without decreasing the time available for valuable social interactions. In addition, they support the growing body of evidence that accurate measures of rates of ingestion, and not just foraging effort, are necessary to fully understand the foraging strategies of wild primates. Supported by the National Science Foundation DDIG (BCS-0752683), Wenner-Gren Foundation, Leakey Foundation and National Geographic.