Abstract # 105:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 14, 2014 01:45 PM-02:00 PM: Session 16 (Decatur A) Oral Presentation


THE EFFECTS OF ANTHROPOGENIC DISTURBANCE ON PARASITE INFECTIONS IN BLACK HOWLER MONKEYS (ALOUATTA PIGRA) IN SOUTHERN MEXICO

R. Martinez-Mota1, P. A. Garber1 and T. R. Gillespie2
1Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA, 2Departments of Environmental Studies and Environmental Health, Emory University, GA, Atlanta
line
     It has been suggested that in anthropogenically disturbed landscapes, parasite transmission rates increase and threaten the health and survival of primate hosts. In this study, we examined the effects of forest disturbance on gastrointestinal parasite prevalence and richness in an endangered population of black howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra) inhabiting a fragmented landscape in Campeche, Mexico. During a 12 month period (1,097 observation hours), we collected 673 fresh fecal samples from 15 individually-recognized adult males, 15 adult females, and 12 immatures, belonging to seven social groups distributed in five forest fragments characterized by different degrees of anthropogenic disturbance. In each fragment, disturbance was quantified by measuring fragment size and shape, stump-to-tree ratio (a general index of wood extraction), percentage of canopy closure, and tree basal area. Rainfall data also were recorded. Parasite eggs and cysts were recovered using flotation and sedimentation techniques. Three nematode (Trypanoxyuris sp, Parabronema sp, Strongylidae), two trematode (Controrchis sp, an unknown trematode) and two protozoan (Entamoeba coli, Entamoeba sp) parasites were recovered. Generalized linear mixed models indicate that parasite prevalence was negatively affected by the stump-to-tree ratio (beta= -17.6, CI= -34.2 - -0.9, p<0.05) and rainfall (beta= -0.003, CI= -0.005 - -0.001, p<0.001). Parasite species richness was not affected by any predictors. Overall, these data indicate that anthropogenic habitat disturbance decreased gastrointestinal parasite infection rates in this black howler monkey population.