Abstract # 108:

Scheduled for Tuesday, June 4, 2002 10:00 AM-10:15 AM: Session 12 (Room 16/17, Cox Convention Center) Oral Presentation

Seasonal differences in the behavior of golden lion tamarins (Leontopithecus rosalia rosalia)

T. S. Stoinski1, S. Allard1 and B. B. Beck2
1Zoo Atlanta, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, TECHLab, Zoo Atlanta, 800 Cherokee Ave. SE, Atlanta, GA 30315-1440, USA, 2National Zoological Park, Washington DC
     Studies of seasonal variation in primate behavior have been conducted in only a few species, and the results of these studies show substantial differences. For example, while some studies report large variation in behavior between seasons, other have found little correspondence between behavioral variability and seasonal change. We investigated seasonal variation in the behavior of 80 golden lion tamarins around the Poco das Antas Reserve in Brazil. All subjects were part of a reintroduction program for the species, with approximately half born in captivity and the remaining born in the wild with captive ancestors. Focal animal, instantaneous data (approx. 2,300 hours) were collected on substrate use, height, behavior, activity, and proximity. Observations were divided into three seasons based on general rainfall patterns: wet, dry and intermediate. Analyses across seasons were performed using repeated measures ANOVAs. Significant differences were observed in all categories, clearly showing that animals modified their activity budgets in response to seasonal variables. Specifically, subjects appeared to decrease energy expenditure during the wet season, spending significantly less time foraging for invertebrate prey, less time on narrow, flexible substrates, less time engaged in social behavior, more time at lower heights, and more time resting. We hypothesize that these seasonal changes in activity are related to availability of fruit resources and/or reproduction/infant care.