Abstract # 35:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 21, 2012 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 9 (Gardenia) Poster Presentation


PATCH FORAGING FEATURES AND FEEDING BEHAVIOR OF RED HOWLER MONKEYS (ALOUATTA SENICULUS) IN A TROPICAL DRY FOREST IN CORDOBA, COLOMBIA.

J. F. Aristizabal Borja and N. Mesa Sierra
Posgrado, Instituto de Ecologia AC, Carretera Antigua a Coatepec No 351, El Haya, Xalapa, Veracruz 91070, USA
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     Foraging behavior is essential to obtain the amount of nutrients needed to meet the energy requirements. We compare features of foraging patches used by red howler monkeys with aspects of feeding ecology. It is essential to understand the feeding behavior of this species. We studied a group during the rainy season in a tropical dry forest fragment (Cordoba, Colombia). The group was followed for 30 days; we obtained data about traveling paths used, feeding time and number of visits on each patch. Patches were categorized with structural variables: Area (ha), plant species and number of trees used by monkeys, biomass and crown volume of all trees. The group used six foraging patches; each one had a particular structural configuration. We found differences between the patches variables (p<0.05 for all of them). The trips finished when the resource wanted was reached. The segments did not have high linearity, maybe because the canopy was not uniform. The studied group spent different periods of time in each patch, because the uses of patches were determined more by the plant species and not by the others features studied. Ficus sp. was used more frequently by monkeys. However, this species had the lowest number of individuals in the patches. This research has let us conclude that howlers choose patches for foraging depending on the presence of specific plants species.