Abstract # 84:

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


PARASITE PREVALENCE IN FREE-RANGING MANTLED HOWLER MONKEYS (ALOUATTA PALLIATA), LA SUERTE BIOLOGICAL FIELD STATION, COSTA RICA

D. Sharpe1, T. Vratanina1, B. Cudmore2 and K. Markham3
1The University of Georgia, Department of Psychology, Athens, GA 30601, USA, 2University of Oregon, 3George Washington University
line
     

Previous research has demonstrated that factors associated with habitat fragmentation, such as fragment size, habitat degradation, and human presence, influence both parasite prevalence and richness in monkeys. The current research explored parasite prevalence in three troops of mantled howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata) at La Suerte Biological Field Station, Costa Rica. We hypothesized that monkeys residing in a small forest fragment (20 ha, primary vegetation) would have higher parasite prevalence than monkeys in a large forest fragment (200 ha, secondary vegetation) due to smaller home range sizes and higher conspecific density. Fecal samples from two troops of monkeys in the small fragment (troops A and B = 24 samples each) and one troop in the large fragment (troop G = 22 samples) were analyzed for parasites using fecal sedimentation and flotation procedures. Pinworm eggs and Strongylid sp. eggs and worms were present. Samples were divided into low prevalence (0–100) and high prevalence (100+) for comparison. There was no significant difference in parasite prevalence among the three troops, ?2(2, N = 70) = .0157, p = .99. This may be due to the proximity of each troops’ home range to the La Suerte river and agricultural fields. Additionally, the smaller fragment was populated by more Ficus trees which have been suggested to be used by monkeys to self-medicate.