Abstract # 7956 Poster # 27:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 26, 2017 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (National Ballroom AB) Poster Presentation


M. Baker
Rhode Island College, Anthropology Department, Providence, RI 02908-1991, USA
     Nonhuman primates that raid trash may suffer nutritional imbalances and experience heightened levels of aggression. Trash-raiding wildlife causes annoyance and health concerns for humans. This project tested the effectiveness of trash huts covered with steel mesh and fitted with locking doors to prevent access by two troops of capuchin monkeys at the Refugio de Mixta de Vida Silvestre Curú. In March 2015, behavioral data were collected before and after the trash was enclosed. Scans were conducted at 5-minute intervals beginning when the monkeys arrived near the enclosures, tallying the behavior of each group member and the food items consumed: trash, provisioned foods, and natural foods. Camera traps were used to verify that the trash enclosures were consistently used and locked by humans. Follow-up data were collected in May 2016 and January 2017. The trash enclosures effectively prevented theft by the monkeys, however the steel corrodes and must be regularly maintained to prevent rust. The activity budgets of the monkeys were not altered by the introduction of the trash enclosures, however there was a significant difference (ANOVA p= 0.0018) in the types of food consumed the monkeys: when trash became inaccessible, both troops increased the time spent consuming (in)directly provisioned foods. Additional research will focus on use of more durable materials, elimination of trash-raiding by raccoons, and a program to reduce wildlife feeding by tourists.