Abstract # 3246 Event # 63:

Scheduled for Saturday, September 17, 2011 05:45 PM-06:00 PM: Session 12 (Meeting Room 410) Oral Presentation


EVALUATING THE POTENTIAL FOR BAMBOO FOREST AGROECOSYSTEMS TO FOSTER ALOUATTA SENICULUS CONSERVATION IN A HIGHLY FRAGMENTED LANDSCAPE IN COLOMBIA

C. Gomez-Posada
University of Washington, Department of Biology, Seattle, WA 98195-1800, USA
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Most of the forest remnants in the Eje Cafetero region in Colombia are privately owned bamboo forests fragments, which support the last populations of red howler monkeys found between 900-1500m of altitud. Thus, long-term protection of howlers will require management in bamboo fragments. Bamboo has great economic significance in the region, and bamboo forest harvest is regulated by local authorities. Can these native bamboo forest under logging regimes also serve conservation goals?. This study seeks to evaluate the potential of bamboo forest to support threatened fauna while providing economic benefits to their owners; the target species is Aloatta seniculus. As one component of a long-term project, we compared diet, activity and ranging patterns of six red howler troops in forest with high vs. low levels of bamboo stem extraction. Using slow scan sampling and recording the troop location every 15 minutes during one year, we found no significant differences in howler behavioral ecology between the two extraction levels, nor with activity patterns reported in protected forests. However, their diet is species-poor and logging may impact recruitment of key food trees. Our results suggest howlers can tolerate high levels of bamboo logging. As long as key food resources are protected, we recommend bamboo agroecosystems as a conservation tool to connect and increase habitat, while providing financial benefits to the landowners.