Abstract # 5948 Event # 120:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 14, 2014 03:45 PM-04:00 PM: Session 19 (Decatur A) Oral Presentation


ADAPTING TO FLORIDA’S RIVERINE FLOODPLAINS: THE DIET AND ACTIVITY PATTERNS OF RHESUS MACAQUES (MACACA MULATTA) IN SILVER SPRINGS STATE PARK

T. W. Wade and E. P. Riley
San Diego State University, San Diego, California 92182, USA
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     The banks of the Silver River have been an unlikely home to a population of free-ranging rhesus macaques since the 1930s. Decades of daily provisions (e.g., fruit, monkey chow) from park staff allowed the introduced population to grow from eight individuals to hundreds. Since the 1980s, official provisioning has ceased but unsanctioned provisioning by park visitors continues. To better understand how this population has persisted in a foreign habitat and determine if humans currently contribute to its success, we investigated the diet (wild and provisioned) and behavior patterns of the four macaque groups living along the Silver River. Behavioral observations were conducted from January – May 2013 using scan and behavior sampling techniques. Data were collected for 29 days, totaling 166.25 hours (570 scans). Results show that macaques subsist primarily on wild foods (88% of behavioral records). However, when visitor attendance is high, consumption of provisioned foods increased from 8.9% to 16.1%. A majority of their time was spent moving (31.7%), followed by resting (27.8%), feeding (19%), social behavior (14.2%) and foraging (7.2%). As more wild foods became available across seasons, their dietary repertoire expanded from seven plant species (January) to 25 species (May). Nonetheless, the proportion of wild versus provisioned foods remained consistent from January to May, suggesting that provisioned foods serve merely as a supplementary or “bonus” resource rather than a primary one.