Abstract # 71:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 20, 2013 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 9 (SG Foyer ABC) Poster Presentation


HOW DO PEOPLE USE MONKEYS IN MEXICO?

F. Vidal-García and J. C. Serio-Silva
Instituto de Ecología AC., Carretera Antigua a Coatepec No. 351, El Haya, Xalapa, Veracruz 91070, USA
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There are three species of primates distributed in the rainforest of the Southeastern Mexico: the black howler monkey (Alouatta pigra), mantled howler monkey (A. palliata) and the spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi). They have been part of the life of people in different aspects. We visited 300 localities around the Southeastern Mexico, and collected information about current uses and values that people give to monkeys through interviews with people. We have identified current uses for Mexican primates, which include 12 recipes and five medicinal uses. We have recorded monkeys as pets in 15 localities, and also as part of small circuses. Additionally, we collected information about their manifestation in culture (four stories about links between primates and humans, pots and pans depicting figures of monkeys). In general, monkeys are appreciated because of their similarity with humans. They appear to represent enjoyment and health of the forest. Most people do not believe monkeys could be dangerous and they are attractive as pets because they are considered intelligent and have the ability to learn things. Additionally, people say that howler monkeys can predict different environmental events as rain, hurricanes, earthquakes and other things such as epidemics. We believe knowledge of these uses, attitudes and perceptions are prerequisite to designing effective conservation activities and introducing suitable preventative measures in places where monkey populations are threatened.